September 2014

30 September 2014

Director's blog

As the PHG Foundation attends all three major UK political party conferences for the first time, Dr Hilary Burton sets out plans both to track their commitments to science and health, and launch our own policy manifesto.

Opinion of the month

Dr Sobia Raza provides a valuable overview from the recent Global Microbial Identifier meeting looking at some of the successes and barriers in the application of genomics to global control of infectious disease threats.

Genomic and personalised medicine

Efforts to develop policy and make appropriate preparations for the health systems to implement personalised medicine have been a focus in both the UK and the US, with worries that EU laws could have a detrimental effect on this and other medical applications of emerging scientific capabilities.
Future-proofing UK diagnostic capacity for stratified medicine
The changing landscape of personalised cancer medicine
Holding up the UK's genomic healthcare revolution?
The value and limitations of big data on the human genome: probing function

Law, policy and regulation

Gene patents remain firmly in the news as Australia takes an opposing view from the US stance BRCA patents and the US NIPT market is thrown open when certain elements of Sequenom IP are ruled invalid. As the US launches a new action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance, the UK’s new scheme for accelerated access to experimental medicines for unmet medical need gets underway.
Implications for BRCA testing as Australian court upholds gene patents
Legal blow to Sequenom as global NIPT market expands
New US strategy on antimicrobial resistance launched
Brain cancer vaccine wins first UK 'innovative medicine' status

Democratising genomics for health

The successful introduction of genomic medicine is shown to require elements including health professional education and understanding and public awareness, whilst a new collaboration may demonstrate the benefits of greater engagement and control from individual patients in terms of ‘genome-guided medicine’.
Celebrity impact on UK familial breast cancer referrals
Empowering patients via clinical genome sequencing

Regenerative medicine and cloning

It has been an encouraging month for adult-cell derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, as Japanese-led research both creates ‘reset’ embryo-like iPS cells and delivers the world’s first transplant of retinal cells created from iPS cells. We also discuss the difficulty of making policy decisions on mitochondrial replacement amidst both complex biomedical issues and emotive arguments.