News story

Precision medicine: UK leaders gather to discuss new treatments

Developers of precision medicine aim to make UK a world leader and launch map of facilities to support research and industry.

Precision medicine
Precision medicine is an emerging approach that could help to improve outcomes for patients.

Leading figures in the research, development and commercialisation of precision medicine in the UK gathered at an event designed to encourage new partnerships and highlight new opportunities in the field.

Precision medicine – often known as personalised or stratified medicine – is an emerging approach to the treatment and diagnosis of disease that takes into account variations in a patient’s genes, environment and lifestyle.

It aims to better target treatments to an individual’s circumstances to improve outcomes for patients.

The Precision Medicine UK: Collaboration Nation event at De Vere Holborn Bars, London, was organised by Innovate UK, Health and Care Research Wales, National Institute for Health Research, Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Invest Northern Ireland and the Knowledge Transfer Network. It was part of a programme to make the UK a world leader in the field.

Map outlines UK’s precision medicine facilities

The event saw the launch by the chief executive of Innovate UK, Dr Ruth McKernan, of a new map of the precision medicine landscape.

Mapping the UK Precision Medicine Landscape

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Dr McKernan said:

The UK has world-leading researchers and businesses in precision medicine. There is huge opportunity here to coordinate our efforts better and be more productive. That’s what Innovate UK is all about.

The UK healthcare ecosystem is complex, with more than 400 public sector and charity-funded organisations working on precision medicine. That’s why we have developed a new map of the landscape to help anyone navigate their way through.

We’re also using our business perspective to connect across the healthcare sector. We want to encourage partnership and spur on the innovations that bring commercial success and benefit to patients.

The map features more than 400 pieces of precision medicine infrastructure funded by UK public bodies and charities, broken down by type, disease area, relevancy and location.

£200 million invested in precision medicine

The Collaboration Nation event showcased leading scientific and commercial developments in precision medicine and allowed delegates to find out more about facilities on offer and potential partners.

There were sessions on cancer, neuroscience and imaging, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, health analytics, infection and immunity and inflammatory disease. The event also included workshops, exhibitions and the opportunity for one-to-one meetings.

UK organisations working together on precision medicine have already invested around £200 million in research and development including on:

  • improved tumour profiling and treatment in cancer
  • accelerating identification, validation and adoption of biomarkers
  • accelerating uptake of medicine and companion diagnostics in the NHS

A whole range of organisations, including charities, health bodies and devolved administrations are co-ordinating their work under the umbrella of Innovate UK’s Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform.

Innovate UK has also established the Precision Medicine Catapult technology and innovation centre to make the UK the most compelling location in the world for the development and delivery of this new targeted approach.

Published 9 December 2015