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Over £3.7 million will be invested in seven UK research and development projects into personalised medicine, in a joint venture by the Technology Strategy Board and the Medical Research Council.

Four of the projects will research inflammatory biomarkers for more effective drug treatment.  The projects will develop the use of biomarkers to predict how groups of patients will respond to inflammation and immunology therapies, aiming to refine relevant patient sub-groups to be targeted for better results in alleviating symptoms and side effects.

The Technology Strategy Board’s Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said: “Here in the UK we have many of the strengths needed to accelerate the innovation of stratified – or personalised – medicines and to become a world leader in developing medicines aimed at smaller sub-groups of patients. These investments are the first in a programme that is bringing scientific research, businesses and policymakers together to develop the personalised, targeted drugs and treatments of the future”.

The projects to be funded are:

Project title: Evaluation of a novel biomarker as a predictor of response, stratification tool, and measure of pharmacology for a disease modifying osteoarthritis therapeutic

Partners: GlaxoSmithKline (lead), University of Oxford

Project title: ERICA: Evaluation of the Role of Inflammation in non pulmonary disease manifestations in Chronic Airways disease (COPD)

Partners: GlaxoSmithKline (lead), Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Cardiff, University of Nottingham

Project title: Investigation and validation of CD44vRA as a specific biomarker for rheumatoid arthritis; targeted therapy for drug development, efficacy and companion diagnosis

Partners: Ig Innovations Ltd (lead), MaimoniDex (UK) Ltd, Mologic Ltd, Swansea University

Project title: Multiplex SNP array for the stratification of therapy response in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Partners: Randox Laboratories Ltd (lead), University of Ulster

Project title: ‘STRATUM’ – Strategic Tissue Repository Alliance through Unified Methods

Partners: AstraZeneca UK Ltd (lead), GlaxoSmithKline, Lab21 Ltd, University of Manchester, University of Nottingham, University of Leicester

Project title: GSK and OGT: Innovative Business Models for CDx Development

Partners: GlaxoSmithKline (lead), Oxford Gene Technology

Project title: Stratified Medicine Business Platform

Partners: Janssen UK (lead), University College London, NHS/UCL Partners Health Sciences Centre

Published on: June 8, 2011

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