Businesses and researchers hoping to understand where they can get help in using precision medicine will find the task easier from today thanks to the publication of an online map of the landscape.
The map, which has been co-ordinated through 26 of the main UK funders of precision medicine and published by business innovation experts, Innovate UK, is the first of its kind in the UK. It 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. The map is hosted by the Knowledge Transfer Network, who will provide facilitation and ongoing support to users of the tool.
The aim of the map is to help anyone interested in the sector break through the complexity that exists in the UK healthcare ecosystem and, get the help and support they need to realise the commercial benefit of precision medicine.
The new tool was launched at a unique event that brought together leading figures in the research, development and commercialization of precision medicine in the UK to encourage new partnerships and highlight new opportunities in the field. The Precision Medicine UK: 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.
Dr McKernan, Chief executive of Innovate UK, who opened the event, 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 organizations 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,” he added.
Precision medicine – often known as personalized 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. UK organizations working together on precision medicine have already invested around £200 million in research and development and it aims to better target treatments to an individual’s circumstances to improve outcomes for patients.
The Collaboration Nation event in central London, was also attended by Life Sciences minister George Freeman and Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, Sir John Savill. The event was organized by Innovate UK, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Cancer Research UK, Invest Northern Ireland, Health and Care Research Wales and the Knowledge Transfer Network.
A whole range of organizations, 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.