February 2016

23 February 2016

New APPG on Personalised Medicine

New All-Party Parliamentary Group on Personalised Medicine aims to help the NHS and patients make best use of the increasing availability of technologies to provide more personalised health and care. The Group’s formal launch is set for 15 March, where stakeholders will join parliamentarians to discuss the nature of personalised medicine and implications for the NHS.

New parliamentary group to examine role of personalised medicine in NHS

Genomic research and medicine

Genomics England has expanded their collaborations on the 100,000 Genome Project, confirming Icon plc as their data management partner and agreeing to further their collaboration with Illumina to develop a set of informatics tools to interpret genomic sequences.

Science and health policy

PHG Foundation’s Dr Sobia Raza unpicks the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee report on ‘science in emergencies’, and finds the conclusion of coordination and prompt data sharing chime with the PHG Foundation’s Pathogen Genomics Into Practice report. Genome editing moves into the spotlight with Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) announcing it has approved a licence to use gene editing of embryos in research, which leads PHG’s Director Dr Hilary Burton to look at the regulatory approach needed.

Data and digital

Will 2016 be the year of digital health technology? Stefano Gortana gives his view. On the topic of data sharing, The Personal Genome project has found that greater transparency about the risks and benefits associated with data sharing encourages, rather than deters, participation in human research.

Innovations in healthcare

3D printing is a hot topic this month. The first 3D print aided kidney transplant is hailed ‘a success’ following its implant in a toddler last November, and scientists have developed 3D printed functioning tissue which can stay alive after transplantation into a living body. In other news, an electronic implant could help return mobility to people living with paralysis, with the first human trials scheduled for 2017.
First 3D print aided kidney transplant 'a success'

Therapeutics and diagnostics

Good news for inherited heart conditions as a faster, more reliable blood test for inherited heart conditions is developed. Meanwhile, there is progress in cancer therapies as drugs to treat heart disease and infections could be used for cancers, while a serious and common complication of bone marrow cancer has been linked to a heritable mutation paving the way for the development of novel therapies in the future.