News story

New Precision Medicine Catapult: Chairman appointed

Professor Richard Barker is the new chairman of the Precision Medicine Catapult, set to open later in 2015.

Image of Richard Barker, the Chairman of the new Precision Medicine Catapult centre set to open this year.

Richard Barker hopes the UK will be a leader in forging the future of medicine

He spent 7 years as Director General of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, and is currently:

  • founding Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation, based at Oxford University and UCL
  • chairman of the South London Academic Health Science Network and the corresponding Genomic Medicine Centre

The future of medicine

Precision medicine uses diagnostic tests and analysis of clinical data to select the most appropriate treatment for individual patients.

It is currently worth £14 billion in annual sales of new therapies and diagnostic tests worldwide. This is forecast to reach £50 to 60 billion per annum by 2020.

Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said:

The Precision Medicine Catapult is a testament to the UK’s strength in the life sciences sector and our commitment to ensuring the UK takes the lead in this emerging area. Richard Barker’s expertise and experience make him an ideal candidate to drive forward this important addition to our catapult network.

Richard Barker said:

I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to build a high-talent team to drive forward the UK’s position in precision medicine – taking full advantage of a wide range of investments already made. I’m determined that the UK be among the leaders in forging what is, in many ways, the future of medicine.

Technology excellence centres

Richard will help Innovate UK find a home for the new Precision Medicine Catapult which is already generating significant interest from leading UK universities and hospitals. It will:

  • simplify and speed up precision medicine product development and implementation
  • help build partnerships between different therapeutic, diagnostic and informatics players in the sector
  • support existing precision medicine companies and create new companies
  • attract inward investment from global life science companies

It is is one of two new Catapults set to open this year, bringing the total to 9. Catapults:

  • connect businesses with the UK’s research and academic communities
  • help organisations work together to bring new products and services more quickly to commercialisation
  • focus on areas with great market potential, that will open up global opportunities for the UK and generate economic growth for the future

Visit the Catapult website to find out more about all 7 Catapults currently up and running.

Looking for support or funding for your innovation? See our current funding opportunities

Published 6 February 2015