Sign up for Equitymaster's free daily newsletter, The 5 Minute WrapUp and get access to our latest Multibagger guide (2017 Edition) on picking money-making stocks.

This is an entirely free service. No payments are to be made.

Download Now Subscribe to our free daily e-letter, The 5 Minute WrapUp and get this complimentary report.
We hate spam as much as you do. Check out our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.
Genomics: An introduction - Views on News from Equitymaster
  • E-MAIL
  • A  A  A
  • Dec 21, 2000

    Genomics: An introduction

    Genes are found in every living being. They determine whether you are going to have blue eyes or brown, whether you grow up to be a brunette or blonde.

    Every gene can be classified into dominant and recessive. For example, in humans if one of the parents is tall and the other is short, inevitably their progeny will be tall. This is because the gene that determines the tall character is more dominant than the gene, which determines the short character.

    Genomics is the entire process of creating gene based drugs and therapies. It starts with gene sequencing followed by its analysis and interpretation to drug development. What does one mean by gene sequencing? What does it imply for the pharma industry of the future? Can it help cut out side effects of allopathic drugs?

    We start with explaining the work of the Human Genome Project and then delve on these questions. The human genome project is basically about the knowledge of the genes, how the genes manufacture the enzymes and the proteins that keep us well or occasionally cause us to fall ill.

    In a human cell are chromosomes wrapped in DNA strands. The DNA in all the cells of a human body are organised into 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each chromosome contains thousands of codes for building proteins. The totality of DNA present in the cells of a species is called its genome. Hence the name ‘Human Genome Project’.

    The output of the Human Genome Project is in the form of 3.2 billion letters such as ATCCGHTT… and so on. Each triplet of letters instructs machinery in a cell to pick up certain amino acids from the food that we consume. A certain number of amino acids combine to form a protein such as an enzyme for digesting food, a brain chemical that causes depression etc.

    The mapping of the genome basically means sequencing of the DNA. This would enable the identification of the quality of the genes in each individual and help pharmaceutical companies to produce drugs suited to each individual for genetic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, malfunctioning of joints, obesity and even baldness.

    According to Dr. Swati Piramal, Director, Nicholas Piramal, “While in the past, medicines were made to attack the symptoms of an illness, once the genetic defect that is causing the illness can be identified, then the medicine can be made to react with the gene itself.”

    Genomics also has an important role to play in pharmaceutical Research & Development too. At present, pharma companies operate with a library of chemical compounds and test the efficacy of a set of compounds via phases of clinical trial first on animals and then on a set of human volunteers. Once the gene responsible can itself be identified then the chemical that reacts with the particular gene can be found. According to a study done by the consulting firm McKinsey, drug research costs can be cut down by almost 33–40%.

    Quite a few of the bigger multinational drug companies such as Glaxo–Wellcome, SmithKline Beecham, and Novartis have already taken stakes in biotech companies who would commercialise human and animal healthcare discoveries based on the project’s data. While Glaxo has announced the takeover of Spectra (involved in central nervous system genomics), Novartis has a stake in Genetic Therapy and SmithKline has a collaboration with Human Genome Sciences Inc.

    Among Indian companies, Nicholas Piramal has announced that it is working on a drug that would turn off the ‘thrifty gene’ which is responsible for the incidence of diabetes in India. The company has put in place a joint venture with the Council for Industrial & Scientific Research (CSIR) to study and harness genomics. Apart from Nicholas, none of the other Indian companies have made any announcements.

    During the last century, it is the use of chemistry that led to discovery of new molecules for the pharmaceutical industry. This century could well belong to biology.



    Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Genomics: An introduction". Click here!


    More Views on News

    Sun Pharma: Bottomline Slips into the Red Amidst Challenging Environment (Quarterly Results Update - Detailed)

    Aug 14, 2017

    A challenging environment and one-time expense pushes Sun Pharma into a loss in the first quarter.

    Lupin: Bigger Challenges or Bigger Margin of Safety? (Quarterly Results Update - Detailed)

    Aug 14, 2017

    GST impact coupled with price erosion in US leads to lower profits for the quarter.

    Dr Reddy's: US Pressure Continues to Haunt (Quarterly Results Update - Detailed)

    Aug 8, 2017

    Profits plunge due to higher raw material costs.

    The Power of 5 Minutes (The 5 Minute Wrapup)

    Jun 16, 2017

    Here's what you can expect from The 5 Minute Wrapup in the coming months and years.

    Biocon: Lower Licensing Income Leads to Muted Growth for the Quarter (Quarterly Results Update - Detailed)

    Jun 23, 2017

    Net Profit lower due to exceptional items in the previous year.

    More Views on News

    Most Popular

    This Small Cap Can Drive Chinese Players Out of India (and Make a Fortune in the Process)(The 5 Minute Wrapup)

    Aug 17, 2017

    A small-cap Indian company with high-return potential and blue-chip-like stability is set to supplant the Chinese players in this niche segment.

    The Most Important Innovation in Finance Since Gold Coins(Vivek Kaul's Diary)

    Aug 10, 2017

    Bill connects the dots...between money and growth, real money and real resources, gold and cryptocurrencies...and between gold, cryptocurrencies, and time.

    It's the Best Time to Buy IT Stocks(Daily Profit Hunter)

    Aug 16, 2017

    The IT Sector could be in an uptrend till February 2019. Are you prepared to ride the trend?

    Bitcoin Continues Stellar Rise(Chart Of The Day)

    Aug 10, 2017

    Bitcoin hits an all-time high, is there more upside left?

    5 Steps To Become Financially Independent(Outside View)

    Aug 16, 2017

    Ensure your financial Independence, and pledge to start the journey towards financial freedom today!

    Copyright © Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited. All rights reserved.
    Any act of copying, reproducing or distributing this newsletter whether wholly or in part, for any purpose without the permission of Equitymaster is strictly prohibited and shall be deemed to be copyright infringement.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited (hereinafter referred as 'Equitymaster') is an independent equity research Company. Equitymaster is not an Investment Adviser. Information herein should be regarded as a resource only and should be used at one's own risk. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation to buy any securities and Equitymaster will not be liable for any losses incurred or investment(s) made or decisions taken/or not taken based on the information provided herein. Information contained herein does not constitute investment advice or a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual subscribers. Before acting on any recommendation, subscribers should consider whether it is suitable for their particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek an independent professional advice. This is not directed for access or use by anyone in a country, especially, USA or Canada, where such use or access is unlawful or which may subject Equitymaster or its affiliates to any registration or licensing requirement. All content and information is provided on an 'As Is' basis by Equitymaster. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Equitymaster does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and expressly disclaims all warranties and conditions of any kind, whether express or implied. Equitymaster may hold shares in the company/ies discussed herein. As a condition to accessing Equitymaster content and website, you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use, available here. The performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results.

    SEBI (Research Analysts) Regulations 2014, Registration No. INH000000537.

    Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited. 103, Regent Chambers, Above Status Restaurant, Nariman Point, Mumbai - 400 021. India.
    Telephone: +91-22-61434055. Fax: +91-22-22028550. Email: info@equitymaster.com. Website: www.equitymaster.com. CIN:U74999MH2007PTC175407

    Become A Smarter Investor In
    Just 5 Minutes

    Multibagger Stocks Guide 2017
    Get our special report, Multibagger Stocks Guide (2017 Edition) Now!
    We will never sell or rent your email id.
    Please read our Terms


    Aug 23, 2017 (Close)