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UK Groups Investing $6M into Projects for Personalized Medicine

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Technology Strategy Board and the Medical Research Council announced on Thursday that they will invest more than £3.7 million ($6 million) into seven new projects related to the development of personalized medicine.

The investments are part of an initiative targeting more than £50 million in government funding over five years in areas such as tumor profiling and biomarker development to improve drug effectiveness. The initiative is called the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform and is managed by the Technology Strategy Board.

The seven projects will be led by AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Ig Innovations, Janssen UK, and Randox Laboratories. The project partners are also providing funding, bringing the total amount in R&D to more than £7 million, the Technology Strategy Board said.

Four projects will be directed at developing inflammatory biomarkers for more effective drugs. The biomarkers will be used as predictors of how patients react to inflammation and immunology therapies, so that specific therapies can be given to specific patient groups who respond best to them.

Three projects will be aimed at developing business models and value systems, specifically ways to co-develop drugs and companion diagnostics and determining how reimbursement can be "distributed across the value chain," the Technology Strategy Board said.

Arthritis Research UK was also announced as full partner to the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform, joining England's Department of Health, the Scottish Government Health Directorates, the Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, and Cancer Research UK.