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Precision medicine – simplifying a complex landscape

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Precision 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. The UK stakeholder landscape in precision medicine intersects:

  • academia
  • the clinic
  • business

The combination of these three areas is vital for continued UK success in the field, and ensuring that the benefits of precision medicine reach patients.

Clear user need for a precision medicine map  

Precision Medicine landscape map

Feedback from the companies we work with at Innovate UK has told us that the precision medicine landscape is difficult for them to navigate in order to find the right organisations to collaborate with. Not just from a geographical or relevancy angle, but also from understanding the array of acronyms in use – especially for funders and the centres they sponsor.

Subtle differences between acronyms 

From the letters alone, to those looking in to the landscape, it is difficult to know which are funders and sponsors, which are physical centres with facilities and which are networks of individual organisations. For example, AHSC and AHSN only differ by one letter – but Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) translate findings from basic research into translational, clinical and applied research while Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) focus on supporting the identification, development and adoption of new technologies into the NHS.

Programme Coordination Group focusing on precision medicine

Innovate UK leads a Programme Coordination Group of funding agencies and Government departments to support strategic alignment of precision medicine activities and programmes across the UK. Through this group, we have developed a dataset of over 400 infrastructure investments in precision medicine that have been made by UK public sector and charity funders.

26 organisations have been involved

26 organisations have been involved in preparing this data – the main funders of UK precision medicine research and innovation plus sponsor departments within the UK Government and devolved administrations.

Searchable web platform

Precision Medicine stages: invention, evaluation, adoption
Precision Medicine stages: invention, evaluation, adoption

A dataset is one thing – but how is a company meant to sift through it in order to find what they are looking for? In response to this need, we have designed a web platform that is searchable with a number of key filters:

  • Type of infrastructure – what type of centre is it?
  • Disease – what are the centre’s specialist diseases?
  • Innovation pathway – does the centre work in invention and discovery, evaluation of clinical validity or in facilitating adoption into the NHS?
  • Location – where is the centre based? This is particularly important for companies looking for collaborators close to their site.

The Precision Medicine map has three initial views from which users can filter data using location, disease and free text:

  • Infrastructure categories
  • Innovation pathway – from invention to evaluation to adoption
  • Diseases

The Precision Medicine web platform is hosted by the Knowledge Transfer Network, who will provide ongoing facilitation support to users with queries. A more detailed description of how the landscape map works can be found here.

Map to raise users’ awareness of precision medicine landscape

The precision medicine landscape map is designed to bring this data together for the first time in a searchable way. A key consequence will be a rise in users’ awareness of the different infrastructure investments across the UK. Centres and organisations featured should see an increase in their website traffic, and we are keen to hear where new collaborations result from companies’ enquiries.

Future updates

In future updates to the precision medicine landscape map, we plan to survey UK companies working in the field, linking in to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) data already available online.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Luis Bretes posted on

    The Future of Medicine!!!!