TSB awards £6m for R&D into tumour profiling for personalised
21 June 2011
Six research and development projects are set to receive
nearly £6 million from the UK Technology Strategy Board in the latest
stage of a major five-year initiative to ensure that the UK is a world
leader in the development of personalised medicine.
The projects will carry out R&D in the areas of tumour profiling
and data capture. This will help to improve cancer care by providing
cancer specialists with information specific to their patient’s
tumour, enabling more targeted treatment to be provided.
The investment is the third to be made through the TSB-managed
Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform (SMIP), an initiative which
will oversee an investment of over £60 million of government funding
over five years in innovative research and development. The first
investments, totalling £3.7 million, were in the fields of
inflammatory biomarkers for more effective drugs and business models
& value systems.
The consortia carrying out the projects will be led by Affymetrix
UK Ltd, Aridhia Informatics Ltd, IDBS, Life Technologies
Corporation, Oxford Gene Technology and Source BioScience UK Ltd.
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board,
“Routine comprehensive profiling of tumours upon diagnosis
has the potential to open up more effective treatment options and,
together with related clinical data, could dramatically increase our
understanding of the power of targeted therapies, which could then
be applied to drug development. These projects will lead to the
development of products or services which can be readily adopted by
NHS commissioners, for the improvement of patient outcomes.”
The commercial solutions from these projects will support the
aims of Cancer Research UK’s own Stratified Medicines Programme,
which aims to test up to 9,000 tumour samples in order to
demonstrate how molecular diagnosis of NHS patient’s tumours could
be scaled up to provide a national service, whilst also consenting
patients for permission to link their genetic and clinical data to
inform research in the future.
James Peach, director of Cancer Research UK’s stratified medicine
programme, said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside the
Technology Strategy Board, whose £5.8 million investment in
these groundbreaking projects is a vital part of our ambition to
make molecular diagnosis of tumours a routine part of care for all
cancer patients in the UK.
“Investing in tumour profiling will give us new ways to test
tumours in the NHS, and the data capture work will allow us to
develop better targeted cancer treatments in future. All of these
investments fit with the Cancer Research UK programme, which will
demonstrate how these technologies can be used in practice to help
cancer patients. This is a great example of national collaboration
across the public, private and charity sectors, all working together
to beat cancer.”
The partners in the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform are
the Technology Strategy Board, the Department of Health (England),
the Scottish Government Health Directorates, the Medical Research
Council (MRC), the National Institute for Health and Clinical
Excellence (NICE), Cancer Research UK and Arthritis Research UK.