Will genomics revolutionise pharmaceutical R&D?
The successful identification of drug targets requires an understanding of the high-level functional interactions between the key components of cells, organs and systems, and how these interactions change in disease states. This information does not reside in the genome, or in the individual proteins that genes code for, it is to be found at a higher level. Genomics will succeed in revolutionising pharmaceutical research and development only if these interactions are also understood by determining the logic of healthy and diseased states. The rapid growth in biological databases, models of cells, tissues and organs, and in computing power has made it possible to explore functionality all the way from the level of genes to whole organs and systems. Combined with genomic and proteomic data, in silico simulation technology is set to transform all stages of drug discovery and development. The major obstacle to achieving this will be obtaining the relevant experimental data at levels higher than genomics and proteomics.