of Glasgow will receive £20 million to develop a research centre dedicated to personalised medicine.
Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC) will also involve research
groups from other Scottish universities, NHS Scotland, and industry
collaborators. Launched by Scottish First
Minister Alex Salmond at the South Glasgow Hospitals Campus, the centre is
scheduled to open in September 2015.
Scientists at the SMS-IC
will examine patients' genetic makeup and study how that relates to responses
to different treatments. Ultimately, the researchers hope to use this knowledge
so that treatment can be better tailored to each patient.
One goal of personalised
medicine is to reduce inefficiencies in healthcare. For example, genetic
analysis might show that a normally first-line medicine would have little chance
of success for an individual patient, in which case they could be started on a course
of treatment that would be more likely to work.
Use of this information
would also carry economic benefit. A statement from the University of Glasgow claims
that 'of the £595 billion global spend for
pharmaceuticals in 2011, an estimated £393 billion was used for therapies which did
not produce the desired effect'.
Professor Anna Dominiczak, Vice-Principal and Regius Professor of Medicine at
the University of Glasgow adds: '£124 billion is spent in the UK on
healthcare each year, with medicines accounting for £12 billion of the total.
Even a small increase in efficiency created through better targeting of
treatment would save the UK tens of millions of pounds each year'.
Work will initially
focus on chronic diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. The Scottish
Funding Council will provide £8 million of the total £20 million funding over five
The SMS-IC is one of three Innovation
Centres announced by Salmond. Together, the
centres will receive £28 million from the Scottish Funding Council and could
create 2,000 jobs over the next five years.
The First Minister called them 'an
exciting new collaboration between all parts of public life, with Scottish
industry, higher education institutions, multinationals, our small- and medium-sized enterprises and our public sector partners working together to provide
solutions to demand-led problems facing industry in Scotland by supporting
innovation for future growth'.