UPDATE : Thursday, January 24, 2019
‘Korea needs to develop biomarkers for personalized medical services’
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.06.22 13:24
  • Updated 2017.06.22 13:58
  • comments 0

As the biomarker technology remains at a nascent stage in Korea, the industry needs to develop it more positively, and the government should increase support for such efforts, an expert said in a recent report.

The biomarker is the index to detect changes in a body by using proteins, DNA, RNA, and metabolites.

“The domestic biomarker market related to personalized medical services remains at a level where most businesses import equipment and drugs from foreign companies and provide services,” said, Professor Jun Bong-Hyun전봉현 of Konkuk University건국대 in a report published in Biological Research Information Center (BRIC).

Most domestic businesses want to enter the personalized healthcare market by focusing on the genomic analysis and the biomarker, but in reality, academicians and bio ventures are just developing disease markers, verifying some markers and conducting clinical trials on them, Jun noted.

“Domestic firms should not stop at studying and discovering biomarkers but move toward developing them as in vitro diagnostic products and applying them on clinical trials to turn the sector into an industry. For this to happen, they should complete related systems,” he said.

Jun said biomarker would likely emerge as a core technology along with the emergence of personalized medical services but said there had been no domestic products actively applied to clinical trials after winning the approval of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Source: Allied Market Research, Bimarkers Market 2013

According to the report, the global biomarker market is estimated to grow 16 percent a year on average to about $30 billion by 2020. Currently, the U.S. has the largest market, but the Asia-Pacific region will likely record highest growth rate.

Jun emphasized that foreign experts are paying keen attention to developing sensitive biomarkers linked to the early diagnosis of cancer and therapy development.

Especially, Companion Diagnostics accompanied by the biomarker is the field with greatest growth potential, and major governments are providing policy supports for research and development and insurance coverage.

“If companies can develop biomarkers to evaluate diagnosis and drug reaction and verify their effects through massive clinical trials, biomarkers will play a leading role in creating a new market for treatment and diagnosis,” Jun said. “We will also be able to use them for early diagnosis of cancer and personalized treatment.”


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