Use of big data in drug development for precision medicine: an update

Tongqi Qian, Shijia Zhu, Yujin Hoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Introduction: Big-data-driven drug development resources and methodologies have been evolving with ever-expanding data from large-scale biological experiments, clinical trials, and medical records from participants in data collection initiatives. The enrichment of biological- and clinical-context-specific large-scale data has enabled computational inference more relevant to real-world biomedical research, particularly identification of therapeutic targets and drugs for specific diseases and clinical scenarios. Areas covered: Here, we overview recent progresses made in the fields: new big-data-driven approach to therapeutic target discovery, candidate drug prioritization, inference of clinical toxicity, and machine-learning methods in drug discovery. Expert opinion: In the near future, much larger volumes and complex datasets for precision medicine will be generated, e.g. individual and longitudinal multi-omic, and direct-to-consumer datasets. Closer collaborations between experts with different backgrounds would also be required to better translate analytic results into prognosis and treatment in the clinical practice. Meanwhile, cloud computing with protected patient privacy would become more routine analytic practice to fill the gaps within data integration along with the advent of big data. To conclude, integration of multitudes of data generated for each individual along with techniques tailored for big-data analytics may eventually enable us to achieve precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Precision Medicine and Drug Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2019


  • Big data
  • drug development
  • precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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