THE CHAL­LENGE

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

DE­PEND­ING on their use, most new drugs must first go through a rig­or­ous sys­tem of con­trolled tri­als be­fore they can be made avail­able to the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. For pa­tients who need treat­ment for spe­cific dis­eases or con­di­tions, they too must un­dergo the cor­rect tests in or­der to iden­tify which drugs are likely to re­sult in the best out­come for them. One Ir­ish com­pany, Di­aceu­tics, is play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in help­ing both pa­tients and pharma com­pa­nies around the world by rad­i­cally im­prov­ing pa­tient test­ing via their re­al­world data and world­wide lab­o­ra­tory net­work.

IR­ISH medtech com­pany Di­aceu­tics was set up in 2005 by Peter Keel­ing. Based in the Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre on the cam­pus of the In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in Dun­dalk, Co Louth and with of­fices in Belfast and New Jersey in the US, the com­pany em­ploys 55 staff and has an an­nual turnover of €9m. “We op­er­ate in an area known as pre­ci­sion medicine where we work with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies to help them with pa­tient test­ing so that pa­tients get the most suitable treat­ment when they need it,” says Peter. “By im­prov­ing such pa­tient test­ing, our work also helps these phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies to ac­cel­er­ate their mar­ket pen­e­tra­tion and achieve bet­ter re­turns on in­vest­ment in these new drugs,” he adds.

There has been a revo­lu­tion in pa­tient test­ing in re­cent years. Not long ago all pa­tients with, for ex­am­ple, cer­tain types of can­cer, re­ceived the ex­act same treat­ment.

With bet­ter pa­tient test­ing, doc­tors are now in­creas­ingly able to of­fer more pre­cise treat­ment tar­geted at in­di­vid­ual pa­tients. How­ever, while new and bet­ter tests are be­ing dis­cov­ered all the time, many are not get­ting to the pa­tients who need them be­cause they are ei­ther not in the lab­o­ra­to­ries or they are seen as too costly by the health ser­vice provider in that re­gion.

“Di­aceu­tics data il­lus­trates that in can­cer, for ex­am­ple, up to 50pc of pa­tients in the de­vel­oped

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