June 2016

24 June 2016

Life Sciences & Society 

Join us on 7 July for the first free event in our Life Sciences & Society 2016 series examining personalised healthcare. Bartha Knoppers, Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University will consider the implications of moving away from genetic testing and biobanking at specific time points to continuous, lifelong genome sequencing and analysis to underpin a revolution in medical research and healthcare. Interest has been high and we are approaching capacity, book now to secure your place.
The measured man: the next frontier in medical research?

Healthcare futures

PHG Foundation’s Laura Blackburn applies the reality brakes in her overview of the genome editing field. 

Personalised medicine

PHG Foundation’s Director, Hilary Burton has called for clinicians to get on board with genomics in order to fully embrace the benefits of personalised medicine. In July, Hilary will be sharing her insights into mainstreaming genomic in the NHS at the Precision Medicine Forum in London. Meanwhile, Philippa Brice asks whether a synthetic human genome project is a step too far, and in the news, France embraces the potential of personalised medicine by planning to inject €670 million into a new program to establish 12 genome sequencing centres.

Science and health policy

Following the release of a new draft publication from the Accelerated Access Review (AAR), PHG Foundation’s Philippa Brice gives her review. A melanoma drug combination, nivolumab and ipilimub, has received speedy approval by NICE, and a key US ethics and biosafety committee has given approval for the first human trials using CRISPR genome editing technology.

Personalised cancer medicine

In our blog PHG Foundation intern, Andy Graham, tries to imagine a future where precision medicine is routinely used in the NHS. In the news, scientists report a positive step towards a universal cancer vaccine; a meta-analysis of over three hundred clinical trials indicate that cancer patients enjoy better outcomes when treated with a personalised medicine approach; and an extensive genetic analysis on an aggressive blood cancer reveals it is not one but 11 distinct diseases

Infectious disease genomics

Landmark research this month has demonstrated how genomic analysis can be used to determine when an outbreak of TB has ended.

Biomedical research

In the news, gene editing could have greater specificity and broader functionality thanks to identification of a protein that can be used by CRISPR to allow the editing of RNA. Meanwhile, a quest has been launched by AstraZeneca and MRC technology (MRCT) to find new epigenetic targets in respiratory disease to accelerate the search for new treatments, and a proof of concept study has used metagenomics to successfully diagnose brain infections. Scientists have developed a tool which they say can fill the ‘black box’ that lies between the genome and proteome, allowing them to understand better what role particular proteins play in disease. In other news, a Microsoft research team has presented a feasibility study of how search history could reveal evidence of cancer, and over 400 people took part in a synchronised event to collect 12,000 microbe samples from public transportation spaces in 54 cities worldwide.