Epigenetics is the structural changes in chromosomal regions, which signal or perpetuate alteration in gene expression by turning it on or off. Epigenetic alteration includes DNA methylation, histone modification, chromatin remodeling, genomic imprinting, X chromosome inactivation, and non-coding RNA regulation affecting gene transcription. Epigenetics is applied for the studies of oncology, developmental biology, drug development, and non-oncological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and respiratory disease. Epigenetics has applications in in forensic science for paternity testing, distinguishing between identical twins, identification of tissue origin, and for estimation of postmortem interval. Increasing application of epigenetics is expected to propel growth of the epigenetics market.
Increasing government initiatives to enhance epigenetic research is fueling growth of the epigenetics market. For instance, in 2017, National Institutes of Health (NIH) planned to award 10 grants for supporting social epigenomics research in health disparities. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a part of the National Institutes of Health, committed US$ 26.2 million for nine awards over the term of five year. Moreover, in 2011, epigenetic related research was awarded US$ 11 million grant by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. In same year, European Commission launched US$ 52.1 million project named BLUEPRINT, which aims to generate 100 reference epigenomes of healthy and leukaemic cells.
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Furthermore, organic and inorganic growth strategies such as merger, collaboration, acquisition and product launches by market players of epigenetics market are expected to fuel growth of the epigenetics market. For instance, in 2012, Epizyme partnered with Summit, a subsidiary of Celgene to develop personalized therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers by inhibiting histone methyl transferases (HMTs), an important epigenetic target class. Under this agreement, Celgene will receive an exclusive license outside the U.S. to some of Epizyme's programs for the period of three years and has the right to extend this option period for one year with additional funding. Moreover, In January 2016, Merck collaborated with the Cancer Research Technology in U.K., to develop inhibitors of protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5).
Increasing incidence of cancer is also expected to upsurge epigenetics market in the near future. For instance, the global cancer prevalence was predicted to be 32.5 million in 2012, by Cancer Research UK, which is expected to increase by 68% by 2030. Furthermore, according to National Cancer Institute (NCI), people undiagnosed cancer patients reached nearly 14.5 million in 2014, and the number is expected to reach 19 million by 2024. Moreover, increasing prevalence of chronic disease is expected to boost growth of the epigenetics market. For instance, according to Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012, about half of the adult in U.S, which is 117 million, suffers from one or more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.
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