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.