Distinguished Speaker Series: Virtualized drug development for (truly) personalized drug therapy
Prof. Hans Lehrach, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Dahlem Center for Genome Research and Medical Systems Biology, Alacris Theranostics GmbH
Abstract: Every patient is different. In particular, every tumor is different. Even subgroups of tumor cells can react differently to specific therapies, due to the heterogeneity of many tumors. Drug therapies therefore typically only help a fraction of patients; many patients do not respond, with some suffering sometimes severe side effects of ineffective treatments. The ability to identify effects and possible side effects of different drugs on individual patients will, in our view, require highly detailed molecular analyses of every individual patient and his/her individual disease; data that is integral to generating individualized computer models, which can then be used to test the effects of drugs (or other therapies) on the individual. This will, on one hand, provide a basis for a truly personalized selection of therapies optimal for the individual patient, first in cancer patients, but increasingly also in other areas of medicine and prevention. It will, however, also open the way to an increasing virtualization of the drug development process, by e.g. virtual clinical trials of drug candidates carried out throughout the development process.
Host: Prof. Ron Shamir, School of Computer Science, TAU