14 July 2015
Cambridge is to host the UK’s new innovation centre for precision medicine, it was confirmed yesterday.
Research and clinical expertise along with government investment infrastructure has already put the UK on the forward foot for precision medicine; an approach for more targeted disease prevention and treatment that takes into account people’s individual variations in genes, environment, and lifestyle. The Precision Medicine Catapult, headquartered on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus will aim to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to develop precision medicine.
The Cambridge Biomedical Campus, also home to drugs giant AstraZeneca and set to be Illumina’s European HQ, brings together access to a global hub for biomedical research and development plus academic and private sector precision medicine expertise.
Commenting on the announcement, PHG Foundation External Affairs Director Dr Philippa Brice said: "The Precision Medicine Catapult is a tremendously exciting initiative, and I'm delighted that Cambridge has been chosen to host the hub, offering as it does a uniquely rich environment for research, clinical application, and policy development in precision medicine".
The Precision Medicine’s national network will tap into the existing related strengths in regional centres of excellence across the UK, covering the North of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Southern Ireland. The network is expected to be fully in operational by the end of 2016 / 17, under the leadership of CEO, John McKinley.
Also announced was the establishment and location of the Medicines Technologies Catapult at Alderley Park, Cheshire. The new Catapults will join the existing Cell Therapy Catapult to create, in the words of Ruth McKernan, chief executive of Innovate UK, ‘a world-class network of medicines Catapults’. She added: “Together these three complementary catapults should keep the UK at the forefront of a sector we have long excelled in and act as a magnet for inward investment”.