The ability of antibodies to bind their target proteins with some degree of specificity has elevated them to being among the most useful tools in biology and medicine, with a market value of $60 billion.
Biochemistry is enjoying a renaissance under the guise of 'proteomics' due to the availability of sequenced genomes, advances in mass spectrometry and associated data analysis. Its application to drug discovery and development has obvious benefits to the multiple aspects of drug development but this is only beginning to be realised.
The study of the human proteome will drive drug discovery in coming years; although how, when, and in what direction are a little uncertain at present. To build understanding of the role of the human protein complement in health, development, and disease, a database more complex than the human genetic sequence is under construction.
Proteomics is the science of understanding protein architectures at a supramolecular level, whereas the realm of understanding the organisation of biological information in its totality belongs to bioinformatics.
Molecular profiling is becoming increasingly important as a tool for the discovery and implementation of novel biomarkers for use in drug development. Modern profiling methods permit comprehensive analysis of biological systems that allow, for the first time, non-hypothesis-driven approaches in biological discovery.
The genomics community has made great strides in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and these advances are slowly beginning to change the way we diagnose and treat patients. But genomic studies alone cannot capture the complete view of disease processes - a more comprehensive approach is needed.