IUK Precision Medicine: Connecting Industries to UK Excellence

Posted on: 06/12/2019

Innovate UK, KTN & the Precision Medicines Centres of Excellence Network will be hosting an event on Precision Medicine on 30th Jan in London.

The UK has embarked on a very ambitious journey to become the home of Precision Medicine. This journey started in 2010 when the precursor to Innovate UK, the Technology Strategy Board, and a consortium of Governmental bodies and charities funded the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform Programme Coordination Group. This was followed a year later with  the publication of a Technology Roadmap, which identified thematic areas which would need to be addressed to accelerate the research, development and uptake of stratified medicine in the UK.


Since then, millions of pounds have been invested by the UK government in infrastructure and programmes to accelerate the adoption of Precision Medicine into clinical practice.  The UK Government Industrial Strategy identified health data and genomics as key to the development of precision medicine. Furthermore, the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund invested £210 million to the sector via the Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine Challenge theme.


Innovate UK regards Precision Medicine as being any technology that can enable early and accurate diagnosis to inform patient management or selection of therapy. It has historically liaised with six Centres of Excellence in Precision Medicine around the UK with the aim of helping to align existing assets and initiatives in order to enhance the development of new pathways, products and services and to facilitate their integration within the healthcare system.


These Precision Medicine Centres of Excellence – that are based in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – have been working towards a strategy to ensure that this UK resource is spread across the country and can be accessed by industry and research organisation alike for the benefit of patients.


On the 30th of January 2020, Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network are collaborating with the PM Centres of Excellence Network to deliver an event at Stamford Bridge in London showcasing existing capability and assets that reside in the UK. This event will also open up the conversation to ensure  other groups working in Precision Medicine in the UK also have a platform to highlight their skills and capabilities. Alison Cave (ISCF Director: Accelerating Detection of Disease at Innovate UK) will be providing the keynote speech.


Join our LinkedIn group to find out more about ongoing work in precision medicine in the UK and to connect to likeminded individuals.


The following 6 Centres of Excellence make up the initial cohort of the emerging network and will be running sessions at the event:

  • Belfast
  • Cardiff
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Manchester
  • Oxford


Please click here to register for the event.

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The Queen’s University Belfast Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence features the following:

• Integrated biomarker analysis laboratory: Expertise in Genomic and Tissue Hybridization  & Digital Pathology analysis, and their integration when needed, in a fully accredited environment

• Broad scope: from biomarker validation and alpha and beta testing on new technologies  and laboratory products to studies proving the adoption of new tests in universal healthcare systems (NHS and NICE)

• Internal organizational structure aiming to review, manage and deliver projects with efficiency and rigour

• Target – Industry projects, clinical trials and programmatic research



The Cardiff Centre of Excellence for Precision Medicine, through its Clinical Innovation Partnership  has at its heart its desire to make use of the unique assets and skills that Wales has in healthcare research, innovation and delivery. It benefits considerably from the long term vision and support of Welsh Government as evidenced by the recent Welsh Government Written Statement on Precision Medicine that aligns with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. The Cardiff Centre has the following assets in the following areas:

  • Imaging infrastructure: MRI (3T, 7T, National Microstructure Imaging Facility);¬†PET: Pre-clinical and clinical scanners, cyclotron/GMP tracer production; National Imaging Academy: Radiology data, innovation and training; Digital Pathology: All-Wales roll-out NHS Wales Collaborative; Ultrasound – Simulation, AI
  • Genomics infrastructure:¬†Wales Gene Park, national research and training & education programmes; All-Wales Medical Genomics Service providing Laboratory and Clinical services; Genomics Partnership Wales, Genomics for Precision Medicine programme; Pathogen Genomics Unit ‚Äì Public Health Wales; MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics
  • Integrated diagnostics:¬†National Point of Care test data integration; National Digital Cellular Pathology Programme; NHS Wales Informatics Service ‚Äì single clinical diagnostic data repository; Regionalisation of pathology services; Pathology Precision Medicine spokes from a SE Regional Hub; Cancer Imaging and Data Analytics (CIDA) Group
  • Data, machine learning and AI:¬†AI Image analysis, auto-segmentation, radiomics; Distributed learning, decision support systems; Supercomputing Wales, Data Innovation Research Institute; Cybersecurity centre of excellence; NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Interventions:¬†Advanced Therapy Treatment Centre; Clinical Research Facility; Medicines Discovery Institute; Velindre Cancer Centre; Welsh Wound Innovation Centre
  • Research and innovation base:¬†Neuroscience and mental health research institute; Systems immunity research institute; Wales Cancer Research Centre; Dementia Research Institute; Cardiff University Biobank
  • Collaboration and co-production:¬†Life Sciences Hub Wales; Cardiff Medicentre; Cardiff Clinical Innovation Partnership; South East Wales Academic Health Science Partnership ; Clinical Innovation Accelerator
  • Welsh Government (WG) Policy alignment and economic development enablers:¬†Genomics for Precision Medicine Strategy; WG Written Statement on Precision Medicine; WG Statement of Intent for Pathology; WG Statement of Intent for Imaging; Cardiff City Region Deal; UKRI Strength in Places Fund



The University of Glasgow is a world-leader in precision medicine research (THES 2019 global rankings: 51st for clinical, pre-clinical and health research) and through its long-term strategic partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (8 hospital sites; over 1.3M patients) has positioned Glasgow as a leading location for clinical research, clinical trials and innovation with industry. The partnership has developed the ¬£1bn Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) campus in Govan, the first clinical/academic/industry campus worldwide designed around precision medicine, into the centre for Scotland’s well-established PM ecosystem. The combination of world-class clinical research, strong life-sciences industry base, high-quality electronic patient records, patient samples and a single unified healthcare system (NHSScotland) provides a unique opportunity for Glasgow to realise the full economic potential of QEUH, cementing Glasgow as a global leader in precision medicine.

The recent Science and Innovation Audit ‘Precision Medicine Innovation in Scotland: Accelerating Productivity Growth for Scotland and the UK’ highlighted the economic, social and healthcare potential of precision medicine. The global Precision Medicine (PM) market is projected to reach $134bn by 2025, so it is a prize worth pursuing for both the Scottish and wider UK economies.

This workshop, led by the University of Glasgow will highlight how ‘triple-helix’ collaborations (industry, NHS and academia) are driving forward a new healthcare revolution that is accelerating productivity and sustainable economic opportunities.

The workshop will introduce a number of current collaborations with both large multinationals and local SMEs, across a range of precision medicine technologies, including pharmacogenomics based medication management; digital radiology, digital pathology and AI and the Scottish Transcriptomics Archive Resource (STAR), that are contributing to the development of a global and cutting edge precision medicine cluster at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus.

In addition to examples of current collaborations the workshop will outline the ambitious vision to create a precision medicine focussed ‘Living Laboratory’ at the QEUH. The Living Laboratory will tackle one of the biggest precision medicine challenges for industry – translating science and innovation excellence into a real-world clinical setting, thus accelerating precision medicine adoption and enabling Scotland and the UK to capitalise on the rapidly growing precision medicine market.

Please click here to view Glasgow’s PDF infographic.



The Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health (LCPMH), established in 2016 by the Leeds Academic Health Partnership, brings together the city’s NHS providers and commissioners, universities, local authority, and Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network. By driving whole-system collaboration, the Centre has accelerated the research, evaluation, and adoption of new treatments and technologies. It has driven market access through innovative risk sharing agreements and worked closely with industry to embed cutting-edge molecular and data-driven technologies into the health service. The Centre has recently secured investment to progress an ambitious strategy focused on personalised prevention, with flagship programmes aimed at Arresting Cancer and Preventing Frailty – building off major national and charitable infrastructure.



Greater Manchester (GM) has the ability to completely change the way we approach health and social care. The current model is one of disease care. The change will be towards a model of holistic, cost-effective, personalised and proactive care focused on keeping our citizens healthy. GM has the assets and infrastructure, within a devolved health and social care system, to build a culture of collaboration to create and lead a Person-centred Health Service.  The emphasis will be on prediction and prevention as well as precise diagnosis and the right treatment at the right time. Our digital capability is critical to making all of this happen through ensuring connectivity of health and social care records, people and places.

GM is leading the way in creating this digital rich environment through a range of diverse specialities including clinical, basic science, analytics, technology infrastructure, information governance, health economics and commercial partnerships. Some of the biggest challenges include the complexity of supporting analyses of huge data. Such analyses will increasingly require the routing of complex insights into clinical workflow at scale, as well as driving collaboration and new operating and business models to support implementation.  All of these capabilities are within the city region and coalesce through Health Innovation Manchester, giving us the unique opportunity to take Precision Health to another level. The Health Innovation Manchester session at the event will focus on Big Data, Advanced Therapies and Genomics.

You can view the Health Innovation Manchester website here.



The Oxford community provides national leadership having had a committed Precision Medicine agenda for the last fifteen years. Oxford AHSN acts as a catalyst for innovation, using its extensive expertise in facilitating innovation adoption into clinical practice and improving patient outcomes and experience. New digital health technologies are already having an impact on healthcare delivery, facilitating the engagement of patients through modern communication systems.


There is a longstanding commitment to the use of diagnostics and new molecular tools for defining disease more precisely. The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (WTCHG) was the first and remains the most successful centre for the characterisation of genetic variation in common disease globally, and the first to demonstrate the utility of next generation sequencing in a clinical setting. In addition to these considerable strengths in genetics, there is a globally dominant programme in large-scale epidemiology cohorts and electronic patient records. This programme benefits from access to the large cohorts that are now acting as a crucial component of any new approach to stratified medicine.  UK Biobank is uniquely positioned to combine biological data as well as clinical and phenotypic data to try to stratify disease populations more precisely. The coalescence of this skill base in Oxford has allowed the University to develop the new Big Data Institute (BDI).


Oxford also has widespread capabilities in the field of imaging: the 7T magnet Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) programme and a world-leading programme in cardiac MRI. The scientists from both these programmes are responsible for the analysis of very large sets of MRI data emerging from the UK Biobank cohort (100,000 individuals). Combined imaging and data expertise provides unique opportunities for better defining events associated with disease pathogenesis and disease prognosis in response to therapy. As a result of systematic recruitment focusing on developing a new taxonomy for disease, Oxford has a unique set of leaders in the area of disease definition and Precision Medicine including: oncology, dementia, neuroscience, mental health, inflammation, immunology, microbiology, infection, cardiac, metabolic disease, respiratory medicine and rare disease.

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