Theranostics is a fourth-generation technology in pharmaceuticals, transitioning from conventional medicine to a contemporary, personalized and precision-oriented medicine. Theranostics is the merger between therapeutics and diagnostics that renders specifically targeted therapy through continuous, precise and accurate diagnostic data. In cancer, for example, Theranostics will open a new era in which nuclear medicine physicians will help patients through the use of radionucleotide probes combined with personalized choice of radiopharmaceuticals and optimum administration plans.
SPA study has revealed that this is a rapidly growing area, where established giants such as Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories could be collaborating with start-ups such as Proteus Digital Health and ReShape Lifesciences. Interestingly, these groups are pursuing different strategies to enter/grow in this market leveraging their current strengths. The start-ups are focusing on development of implantable devices whereas large companies are focusing on capturing precise efficacy data from their digital patient databases to fine-tune treatments. Universities such as Queensland University of Technology and Hong Kong Baptist University are leading in this space with their programs in nanomedicine and multifunctional cyanine compounds.
The authors of this paper note that the excitement in Theranostics is driven by innovations at the interface of many disciplines – chemistry, pharmacology, biology and ICT (information and communication technology) applied at the patient-level. Theranostics holds the potential to make chronic disease treatment significantly cost effective with better efficacy.
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