Metabolomics, The Iceberg of Complexity and Clinical Utility
February 2016 – Robert G. Hunter – The Journal of Precision Medicine-
The genomic revolution continues to deliver research and clinical breakthroughs (CRISPR/Cas, WGS) that suggest greater precision and prediction is just ahead. And despite extraordinary complexities proteomics performance/cost has evolved into a $10- 20B annual market, spanning research to clinical applications on common new MS-based platforms, certainly one key for the validation and standardization essential to enable biomarkers robust enough for prime time diagnostics.
However complex diseases involve not only multiple proteins but also full pathway modifications, and require subtle but critical biochemical markers to detect patient-specific: gene protein toxin/drug/metabolome (microbiome) interactions. Naturally this is key for precision medicine.
In a recent BCC-sponsored webinar, I compared genomics as being like the tip of the iceberg to metabolomics being like the iceberg itself, with respect to complexity, clinical utility, and unmet need for precision medicine.
And in my new BCC Research report, I estimate the global metabolomics market at $6.8 billion in 2015 and forecast to grow at 13% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to $12.5 billion by 2020. Genomics or transcriptomics involves DNA/RNA molecules with similar chemistry and limited modifications, and proteomics can identify approximately 20 amino acids, but the study of metabolomics involves thousands of different compounds with a wide chemical diversity.
Not surprisingly, metabolomics brings tremendous data processing and interpretation challenges, evolving closely with systems biology. Also, in practice genomics is actively helping drive adoption of metabolomics, and proteomics has also helped pave the way technically and commercially…