Category Archives: UK News

Government Announces £300 Million for UK 100,000 Genomes Project

The UK government has announced that it will provide £300,000,000 for the UK 100,000 genomes project, which Steven Bradshaw believes could make the UK a global leader in genetic research for cancers and other rare diseases.

Steven Bradshaw, a Prolifically-Published Medical Expert

A prolifically-published medical expert experienced in clinical trial research, Steven Bradshaw acts as a consultant to some of the world’s premier pharmaceuticals companies and think tanks. Most recently, Bradshaw’s 15+ years of industry experience lead to his appointment as European director for MKTXS.

As such, Bradshaw’s experience with issues such as research funding, sees him regularly comment on the funding issues shaping the modern healthcare research landscape. This is why Bradshaw felt he must comment on the latest research funding move by the UK.

UK to Become Global Leader in Genetic Research?

According to news sources such as Pharmatimes, Prime Minister David Cameron’s government has announced a new £300 million investment package for the 100,000 genomes project. It is hoped that this project will act to ensure that the UK becomes a global leader in genetic research in cancer and other rare conditions.

The project is certainly ambitious. By 2017, it hopes to map 100,000 human genomes. It is hoped that this achievement will aid in unlocking the power of human DNA; which can then be used to foster new targeted, personalised, diagnostics and medicines. Eventually, the project hopes that this will herald an end to traditional treatments i.e. chemotherapy.

How Did the Project Receive £300 Million in Funding?

It was earlier this week that David Cameron made the announcement. Specifically, the Prime Minister detailed the release of £300 million in funding via a stream of investment from major parties for the gene mapping research.

In a deal worth £78 million, Illumina’s services were secured for the project. This will also see the injection of roughly £162 million in capital into the research over a span of four years. Meanwhile, the Welcome Trust are set to provide £27 million. This will be spent on a sequencing hub at its Genome Campus close to Cambridge. This will house Genomics England’s operations, as well as those of the Sanger Institute.

Furthermore, £24 million will be provided by the Medical Research Council. These funds will help provide the necessary computing power that will make sure the data can be properly analysed, interpreted and secured. Finally, NHS England has agreed to underwrite £20 million in NHS contributions to the project. NHS England has already initiated work on selecting the first NHS Genomics Medicine Centres.

The Project Will Benefit 40,000

The government went on to say that this project could eventually benefit up to 40,000 people. This is essential, because it will eventually make way for genomics-based treatments to become a part of everyday care throughout the health service.

David Cameron commented on the matter, saying that: “I believe we will be able to transform how devastating diseases are diagnosed and treated in the NHS and across the world, while supporting our best scientists and life science businesses to discover the next wonder drug or breakthrough technology.”

Steven Bradshaw Believes This Project Could Have Numerous Benefits

In Steven Bradshaw’s opinion, this ambitious project could go on to provide innumerable benefits to patients with genetic conditions and it will hopefully provide essential information, through which the medical industry can learn to more effectively target and treat conditions such as cancer and other rare diseases. Should the initiative lead to developing new therapies, given their anticipated high costs, how they will be eventually funded within the NHS will need to be carefully thought through because their development costs alone will likely be very high. It is almost certain that, at least initially, such therapies would only be available in specialised centres and provided to select groups of patients. However, the journey from bench to bedside takes time; the long-term benefits of this project will take time to be known, but this is a great start and further goes to show why we need to invest in clinical research.

 

Investment in Antibiotics Measures Just 0.7% of UK Research Funding

Over the past five years, only 0.7% of UK research funding has been invested in antibiotics; a problem Dr Steven Bradshaw believes pharma and governments need to work together to address.

Dr Steven Bradshaw, Clinical Trial Research Expert

As a regularly published medical expert with experience in clinical trial research, Dr Steven Bradshaw primarily acts in an advisory capacity to some of the world’s premier pharmaceuticals firms, along with various government think tanks.

Bradshaw’s experience often leads him to comment in the media on the research news of the day, e.g. his recent commentary on the debate raised by the latest incident of stem cell research fraud.

How Much Did the UK Devote to Antibiotics Research in the Past Five Years?

Just 0.7% of UK research funding was invested in antibiotics work in the past five years, according to work published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by researchers from the University of Birmingham. Considering the current industry fears over antibiotics resistance, Steven Bradshaw considers this finding is more relevant than ever to the work of pharmaceuticals companies going forward.

Specifically, the research revealed that out of a total of £13.85 billion in research funds which were available from between 2008 and last year, only £95 million was devoted to research on antibiotics. Furthermore, European Union funding to the tune of £181.4 million was released to antibiotics research consortia. This included UK-based research teams, encapsulating two EU Innovative Medicines Initiatives awards, which collectively equalled £85.2 million.

What can we learn from the Study’s Findings?

What can we glean from these findings? Essentially, these findings suggest an inadequate level of government funds is currently being devoted to antibiotics research in the UK. Furthermore, it suggests that this will certainly require an urgent increase, to ensure that the UK has the capability to tackle on the on-coming antibiotics resistance crisis effectively, according to the authors of the study.

dr steven bradshaw antibiotics resistance

The authors went on to suggest that “publicly available, subject-specific, funding databases will allow investment in priority areas to be tracked in future.”

The issue of antimicrobial resistance is quickly growing to become a significant global crisis. It is furthermore becoming increasingly clear that the UK, as a leader in biomedical research, has an important role to play in addressing the issue, as the crisis becomes more apparent on an international scale.

However the University of Birmingham’s Laura Piddock, according to Pharmatimes, went on to say that “our study clearly shows that the proportion of public and charitable funding for research into new antibiotics, understanding resistance mechanisms and ways of tackling resistance are inadequate for the size of the task.”

Steven Bradshaw Believes the UK Must Devote More Capital to Antibiotics Research

In Steven Bradshaw’s opinion, the results of this study are clear. The UK is not devoting enough research funds to tackle the challenge of the oncoming antimicrobial crisis. “Most antibiotics are now off-patent (generic) and are cheap; however, the economic burden of endemic antibiotic resistance would be an extremely serious and costly problem for patients and for society. Health services could be totally overwhelmed if this becomes endemic. The sensible approach would be to take precautionary action and invest in new treatments to remain a step ahead”. The pharmaceuticals sector must focus on this issue to ensure that we have the treatments we need to tackle this emerging global medical crisis, but they need the support from policy makers for them to be able to devote the resources to this problem.

 

Pharma gets Together to Attract Investment

Steven Bradshaw is a global healthcare policy expert, who works as a consultant to some of the world’s top pharmaceuticals companies and think tanks. In this blog post Steven looks at news about the pharma industry banding together in a bid to make investment in pharmaceuticals a more attractive proposition. Continue reading

Pharma Experts Call For Alternative UK Antibiotics Reimbursement Models

Steven Bradshaw has learned that pharmaceuticals experts have called for alternative antibiotics reimbursement models in the UK. Why?

Steven Bradshaw, International Policy Expert

Steven Bradshaw is an international healthcare policy expert, who acts as a consultant to some of the world’s top pharmaceuticals companies and think tanks.

In this capacity, Bradshaw weighs in on the issues currently being debated in the healthcare policy sector i.e. the Italian government’s recent decision to substitute AMD drugs, using his expertise to provide fresh insight into the issues at hand. Continue reading

UK Initiates World’s Largest Ever Dementia Study

The UK has initiated the world’s largest ever dementia study, which will involve two million participants, and Steven Bradshaw believes, could radically overhaul future treatment of the condition.

Steven Bradshaw: Offering Fresh Insight into the Key Developments Reshaping the Medical Industry

As a health care expert with a specialist knowledge of pharmaceuticals, Steven Bradshaw acts in an advisory capacity to various pharmaceuticals companies across the globe. Continue reading