Circulating biomarkers are an integral part of healthcare management due to its use in performing a biopsy, monitoring progression of disease, and effectiveness of a treatment regimen. Dying tumor cells release small pieces of their DNA into the bloodstream and these pieces are called cell-free circulating biomarkers. With the help of these biomarkers, patients’ prognosis is evaluated to improve drug development and identify patients who would receive maximum benefit from various treatment options. Pertaining to circulating biomarkers, broad array of specialties such as cancer, immunology, cardiovascular, neurology and metabolic disease for therapeutics and diagnosis are included. Furthermore, besides the potential role of circulating biomarkers as a detection and prognostic method, these biomarkers are also evaluated as a way of monitoring tumor progression and its response to a targeted drug treatment. A measurement of the amount of circulating biomarkers such as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is extremely helpful to estimate a patient’s stage of cancer and survival chances.
Biomarkers play a vital role to inform treatment decision and revolutionize personalized medicine. According to the estimation of the Food and Drug Administration, 10% improvement in the ability to predict drug failures before clinical trials could save USD 100 million in development costs per drug. Another noteworthy application of circulating biomarkers testing is that it could be applied to every stage of cancer patient care. It can be used as an effective screening method for most of the patients as ctDNA is detected in most types of cancer at both early and advanced stages.
Based on geography, the circulating biomarkers market can be segmented into four major regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World (RoW). Among these regions, North America holds the leading position in the global market followed by Europe. The prime reasons which are driving the growth of circulating biomarkers market in these regions are increasing prevalence of cancer and wide use of biomarkers in drug discovery as well as for the treatment of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. Similarly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 1,665,540 new cancer cases and 585,720 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States in 2014. Furthermore, increasing applications of targeted therapies for treating patients with specific disease subtypes is also fueling the growth of the market. Asia Pacific is one of the fastest developing regions and is considered to be a promising market for the growth of circulating biomarkers. The advantageous factors which would drive the growth of the market in Asia Pacific are increase in the development of personalized medicine, and more-targeted therapies. In addition, advancement in sequencing technology and growing population base in countries such as China, India, Vietnam, etc. would further augment the growth of circulating biomarkers market.
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Many pharmaceutical companies are growing extensively in the field of drug and diagnostic development by entering the circulating biomarkers market with strategic acquisitions and mergers. Some of the top companies operating in the global circulating biomarkers market are Abbott Laboratories, Becton, Dickinson and Company, GE Healthcare, Epigenomics AG, Agilent Technologies, Inc., Biocept, Inc. and Affymetrix, Inc. among others.