UK government invests in personalised medicine research

Published: 19-May-2011

£3.7m to be invested in seven projects

The UK’s Technology Strategy Board and the Medical Research Council are jointly investing more than £3.7m in seven major research projects that aim to place the UK at the forefront of developments into personalised medicine.

The investment is the first to be made through the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform (SMIP), managed by the Technology Strategy Board, an initiative that will oversee an investment of more than £50m of government funding over five years in research into areas such as tumour profiling to improve cancer care and developing biomarkers for more effective drugs.

The Technology Strategy Board has also welcomed Arthritis Research UK as a full partner in the SMIP, joining the Department of Health (England), the Scottish Government Health Directorates, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Cancer Research UK.

Arthritis Research UK will help advance the programme, particularly in the area of inflammatory disease.

AstraZeneca UK, GlaxoSmithKline, Ig Innovations, Janssen UK and Randox Laboratories will lead the projects. Including contributions from the project partners, the total value of the research and development will be more than £7m.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: ‘Here in the UK we have many of the strengths needed to accelerate the innovation of stratified – or personalised – medicines and to become a world leader in developing medicines aimed at smaller sub-groups of patients.

‘These investments are the first in a programme that is bringing scientific research, businesses and policymakers together to develop the personalised, targeted drugs and treatments of the future.’

Four of the projects are in the area of inflammatory biomarkers for more effective drugs. The other three projects relate to developing business models and value systems.

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