Genomic Medicine Without Borders: Which Strategies Should Developing Countries Employ to Invest in Precision Medicine? A New Fast-Second Winner Strategy

Konstantinos Mitropoulos, David N. Cooper, Christina Mitropoulou, Spiros Agathos, Jürgen K.V. Reichardt, Fatima Al-Maskari, Wasun Chantratita, Ambroise Wonkam, Collet Dandara, Theodora Katsila, Catalina Lopez-Correa, Bassam R. Ali, George P. Patrinos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genomic medicine has greatly matured in terms of its technical capabilities, but the diffusion of genomic innovations worldwide faces significant barriers beyond mere access to technology. New global development strategies are sorely needed for biotechnologies such as genomics and their applications toward precision medicine without borders. Moreover, diffusion of genomic medicine globally cannot adhere to a "one-size-fits-all-countries" development strategy, in the same way that drug treatments should be customized. This begs a timely, difficult but crucial question: How should developing countries, and the resource-limited regions of developed countries, invest in genomic medicine? Although a full-scale investment in infrastructure from discovery to the translational implementation of genomic science is ideal, this may not always be feasible in all countries at all times. A simple "transplantation of genomics" from developed to developing countries is unlikely to be feasible. Nor should developing countries be seen as simple recipients and beneficiaries of genomic medicine developed elsewhere because important advances in genomic medicine have materialized in developing countries as well. There are several noteworthy examples of genomic medicine success stories involving resource-limited settings that are contextualized and described in this global genomic medicine innovation analysis. In addition, we outline here a new long-term development strategy for global genomic medicine in a way that recognizes the individual country's pressing public health priorities and disease burdens. We term this approach the "Fast-Second Winner" model of innovation that supports innovation commencing not only "upstream" of discovery science but also "mid-stream," building on emerging highly promising biomarker and diagnostic candidates from the global science discovery pipeline, based on the unique needs of each country. A mid-stream entry into innovation can enhance collective learning from other innovators' mistakes upstream in discovery science and boost the probability of success for translation and implementation when resources are limited. This à la carte model of global innovation and development strategy offers multiple entry points into the global genomics innovation ecosystem for developing countries, whether or not extensive and expensive discovery infrastructures are already in place. Ultimately, broadening our thinking beyond the linear model of innovation will help us to enable the vision and practice of genomics without borders in both developed and resource-limited settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-646
Number of pages9
JournalOMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology
Volume21
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Fast-Second Winner
  • Strategy for global biotechnology development
  • developing countries
  • precision medicine
  • public health genomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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