The Human Genome Project was an international scientific research project that successfully identified, mapped, and sequenced almost all the genetic content of the chromosomes of the human organism, otherwise known as the human genome. This 13-year project was completed on April 14, 2003, providing fundamental information about the human genetic blueprint, which has enabled exciting advancements to improve the practice of medicine [1].

One of these exciting medical advancements is pharmacogenomics, one of the core elements of personalized medicine, which looks at how an individual’s genes affect their response to drugs. Data from the Human Genome Project and subsequent advancements in precision medicine have great potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, heighten the customer experience, and shape the future of healthcare.

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How genes impact an individual's drug response

A complete human genome contains three billion uniquely arranged base pairs of DNA. The sequence of a person’s genome can determine how they respond to certain medications. Genetic factors account for up to 95% in the variations in response to treatment [2]. Understanding pharmacogenomics, or tailoring a person's medications based on their genome, would not be possible without sequencing the genomes of many people and comparing their responses to medicines, made possible by the Human Genome Project,

The same medication in the same dose affects people differently. Genes influence the production of crucial enzymes in the liver that metabolize medicines. If a genetic variation stops the enzymes from working properly, the drug can build up in the body with serious side effects. Other drugs only work when broken down in the liver, so if the enzymes don’t work, neither does the drug. These gene variations, known as polymorphisms, are common, but genomics means testing for and compensating for them is possible.

How pharmacogenomics is transforming healthcare

The knowledge generated from the Human Genome Project (HGP) has advanced our understanding of biology and disease, empowering a more personalized approach to healthcare. This medical breakthrough released a torrent of data about human DNA to promote a growing understanding of human genes and enable the role of genetics in medicine to expand. Genetics is no longer limited to guiding medical surveillance based on family histories or classifying conditions stemming from single gene changes.

The ability to sequence the human genome is helping make healthcare more precise, predictable, and robust, as variations in drug response often stem from genetic differences. Genomics enables the prediction of individuals' responsiveness to particular drugs. This field, known as pharmacogenomics, is making more personalized prescriptions and care possible. Personalized medicine, also known as precision medicine, is an innovative approach to medicine that uses information about an individual’s genes and proteins to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease.

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Personalizing medicine with myPGx

Knowledge of genetics and how each person responds to drugs enables physicians to diagnose better, prescribe safer drugs, and administer more effective treatment. LetsGetChecked’s pharmacogenomic solution, myPGx, leverages the power of precision medicine to improve patient health through more tailored treatment plans. Our solution is turning a one-size-fits-all approach to drug therapy and prevention into a more individualized approach to improve the patient experience and outcomes.

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