Precision Medicine

Diagnostic tests for targeted therapies

// individual & effective

// highly specific & unambiguous

Test kitsQuality

Precision Medicine

The aim of modern health research is to achieve the highest degree of therapeutic efficacy while minimising adverse side effects. Due to their individual genetic constitution, each person responds differently to drug therapy. The great advances in basic research in recent years, including in molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics, have led to a better understanding of molecular processes in the development of diseases, among other things. In combination with further information about the state of health and lifestyle, new forms of therapy can be derived. Modern diagnostics try to use this information to predict more precisely who will benefit from certain medicines or treatments and who will not. The goal of being able to treat each person individually according to their needs has thus moved closer.

Stratified therapies are currently being developed, which means that patients are sorted into risk-adjusted treatment groups that respond differently to drugs at the molecular level.

Before deciding whether a certain form of therapy is appropriate, a precise diagnosis takes place. Data from laboratory tests that measure certain blood values or analyse genetic changes are often used for this. The basis for this is knowledge about certain biological characteristics, or biomarkers for short. Many of these biomarkers have only recently been identified. With real-time PCR tests, many biomarkers can be detected easily and without the need for a tissue sample (biopsy). The term “personalised medicine” or precision medicine is therefore mainly used for the application of certain diagnostic tests, which are then followed by a selected therapy.

Against the background of current studies, CONGEN develops highly specific diagnostic rapid test systems, both in its own research and on behalf of others, and in this way efficiently supports the therapy concept of personalised medicine.

One example is the multiplex real-time PCR test developed by CONGEN in collaboration with HMNC Brain Health and the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich for the detection of ABCB1 gene variants (so-called SNPs, single nucleotide polymorphisms). This test supports the treatment of depression with specific antidepressants. The gene variants can be used to identify patients for whom many of the common antidepressants are less able to pass the blood-brain barrier and who therefore respond less well to therapy.

Another example is the detection of HLA-B27 subtypes with a real-time PCR test. Human leukocyte antigen-B27 (HLA-B27) is a cell surface antigen whose function is to present specific microbial antigens to T cells. The test can be used to support the diagnosis of patients with suspected chronic rheumatic disease (ankylosing spondylitis) and other autoimmune diseases.


Therapeutic diagnostics


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