Mechanism-based biomarker discovery

Drug Discov Today. 2017 Aug;22(8):1209-1215. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2017.04.013. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Biomarkers are cornerstones of healthcare spanning a wide spectrum of applications like disease diagnosis and stratification of patient populations. Despite significant efforts that have identified thousands of potential biomarkers, their translation into clinical practice remains poor: less than two approvals per year across all diseases. In part, this inefficiency arises from experimental limitations on the biomarker discovery pipeline. Widely used mass-spectrometry approaches suffer from sample throughput whereas targeted approaches such as immunoassays suffer from low multiplexability. On top of the technological limitations, the current single-biomarker-to-single-disease approach does not capture the multifactorial nature of complex diseases. Hence, mechanism based biomarker discovery aims to identify signatures that capture the diversity of the disease's origin and deliver more precise diagnostic and predictive information.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge Bases
  • Proteomics


  • Biomarkers