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Building a world-class precision medicine industry

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Your task is to make the UK the most compelling location in the world for the development and delivery of precision medicine!

Not exactly an unambitious objective given by Innovate UK to the Precision Medicine Catapult (PMC) earlier this year, but a challenge that we are confident our team can successfully achieve.

Building a world-class precision medicine industry

The changing healthcare landscape

Today, the healthcare sector is clearly at a tipping point. Scientific and medical advances continue apace, identifying new and innovative approaches to treating illnesses and health conditions.

Meanwhile, as public awareness increases, demand for improved treatments and cures rises, consequently applying evermore pressure on the healthcare system and funders to address growing expectations and costs.

This intensification in healthcare demand and costs is therefore driving the need to use finite healthcare resources more effectively.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are seeing healthcare spending rising on average 2% points a year faster than GDP growth (with the US rising even faster), suggesting that healthcare costs will be unsustainable for all these countries by 2050.

Without radical change in the delivery of care, patients will no longer be able to receive the standard of care the public has come to expect.

The precision medicine opportunity

With this fast changing landscape, we believe that precision medicine (also known as stratified or personalised medicine) offers a solution to these pressures.

By using diagnostic tests, patients can be allocated to different groups according to their predicted response to a particular treatment.

Recent technological advances have allowed us to decode the biological patterns within our bodies that make us all unique. These discoveries are starting to explain why some medicines only work in some patients and can cause harmful side effects in others.

At the PMC, we are seeking to collaborate with partners, to harness the power of this information, such as:

  • the Academic Health Science Network
  • Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Medical Research Council
  • various charities

This will enable us to collectively identify the biological cause of each patient’s disease to personalise treatment and deliver more accurate, timely and affordable healthcare for all. By treating patients with safer and more effective therapies, we will improve patient outcomes and experience.

In some conditions, like cancer, diagnosis is already shifting from an anatomical classification (breast cancer) to one that addresses the underlying causes (BRAC-II, HER-positive tumour), enabling clinicians to offer much more tailored treatment.

Looking ahead, we have an amazing opportunity to work with the many world-leading experts in research and clinical practice working in the UK, so that precision medicine becomes a mainstream healthcare solution.

Through collaborating with industry partners, Innovate UK and our network of seven Centres of Excellence around the UK, we can generate innovative, sustainable and more cost-effective solutions that will build the UK’s precision medicine industry, benefit patients and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system in the UK.

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