Precision medicine

Precision medicine, sometimes called stratified medicine or targeted medicine, is an emerging approach for disease prevention and treatment. It takes into account people’s individual variations in genes (genotype) and how their genetic make-up is affected by external factors such as environment and lifestyle (phenotype).

These articles explore recent advances in precision medicine in the UK and highlights how precision medicine trials are being used to develop better treatments for patients.

Precision medicine (syringes in dart board)

Genetics: helping children to breathe easily

In the UK, asthma affects around five million people. A child is admitted to hospital every 18 minutes due to their asthma. Yet when the condition is well managed, children can lead full and active lives. However, not all asthma is well controlled. We caught up with a study team in Brighton who are investigating if prescribing medication according to a child’s genetic makeup could lead to better control of a their asthma.

The Goldilocks Effect

Advances in the delivery of precision medicine trials in the UK have sparked interest in the commercial world.

The concept of precision medicine is not new, but generating the scientific evidence to drive the concept into everyday clinical practice is challenging, to say the least. Traditional approaches, involving multiple phase trials in different hospitals and at different times are reliable but take time, even more so when the biomarker that predicts good response is rare.

A new, more efficient approach to testing stratified novel therapeutics is underway in the UK which also has the potential to achieve a faster route to drug registration and availability to patients.

Setting the foundations for precision medicine research

We look behind two platform trials to find out how the research infrastructure provided by the NIHR has helped to pave the way for recent advances in the delivery of precision medicine research.