Christopher Ung, Vice President, Strategic Business and Operations, Oncology, recently authored an article on biomarkers, digital pathology and the future of personalized medicine for the January/February 2010 issue of PharmaAsia. The article was chosen as the cover story for the publication’s digital edition.

Cutting-edge technology is rapidly gaining ground in the biopharmaceutical industry. Throughout the drug development process, more tools are becoming available to increase efficacy, improve quality, minimize unnecessary side effects and reduce costs of therapies.

In the past few years, for example, advances in the use of genetic biomarkers have been steadily transforming cancer research. By examining biomarkers in patients with specific illnesses, researchers can better predict the scope of diseases, and the treatments that can best be used on them.

Ung brought years of cancer diagnostics and biomarker experience to Quintiles when the company acquired Targeted Molecular Diagnostics (TMD) last year. Ung led the team that developed HercepTest™, the oncology industry’s first – and often cited – example of personalized medicine testing. HercepTest is used to select metastatic breast cancer patients for treatment with Herceptin, the first example of a targeted oncology drug.