Part three of a three-part series on mRNA innovation
The final chapter of our mRNA series is future-focused. Part one was about the recent surge in acquisitions and investments in mRNA technology. Part two focused on the increase in clinical trials that are accelerating the development of life-saving mRNA therapies. In part three we look at mRNA’s potential to transform patient engagement by turning ‘ready-to-wear’ medicine into tailor-made treatment.
As we examined earlier in the series, mRNA’s short and medium-term impact on business and clinical research is already apparent. Less apparent is mRNA’s potential to reshape diagnoses and patient care into highly personalized, one-to-one treatment plans that will ultimately transform the nature of patient engagement. Imagine a therapy that instructs a person’s body to seek and destroy, not just a characteristic of a disease trait, but their own personalized diseased trait. Just like that bespoke Armani suit that fits only you and not your brother, mRNA holds the key to made-to-measure medicine.
It’s already happening. Moderna is currently testing this concept in cancer trials and is using genomic sequencing to deliver custom mRNA-based cancer treatment within weeks of diagnosis. The company calls its personalized medicine program ‘One Medicine for One Patient.’ At Escalent, we foresee a chain reaction in tailored medicine, as one major mRNA-based clinical breakthrough in a particular therapeutic area will quickly lead to breakthroughs in other areas.
Developing personalized mRNA treatments will require clinical trials that are different from the trials of today. Since each treatment is bespoke, there will not be supporting data from thousands or even hundreds of patients. So will traditional clinical trials cease to exist? Not entirely, but decentralized clinical trials will become more commonplace. In addition, treatment outcomes will increasingly be based on Real World Data (RWD), a movement the FDA is already pushing with Life Sciences companies. In this new world, the patient becomes the living, active and progressive equivalent of a traditional clinical trial.
So how does this lead to higher patient engagement? Just as participation in a clinical trial requires a relatively high degree of commitment, these trials-of-one will require far greater patient involvement. For example, wearable technology that captures RWD will become a part of the prescription and a critical part of the treatment plan. The technology already exists, but its adoption – at least in these sorts of applications – has not been widespread. mRNA-based personalized medicine may very well be the catalyst that moves us towards a higher degree of patient involvement in their treatment.
It is hard to understate just how far-reaching the impact of some of these changes will be. At Escalent, we are keeping a close eye on what we see as transformative change on the horizon. So far, this is how we see it:
Of course, there are many questions still left to be answered:
Escalent is already digging into these and other critical questions for key players in the Life Sciences industry. We continuously monitor the industry using our extensive network of KOLs, and public and proprietary data sources. You may not feel the impact of mRNA today, but it is only a matter of time.
Send us a note so we can help you prepare your operational and marketing strategies for the era of made-to-measure medicine.