The government will develop global standards and policies to share genomic health data under new plans aimed at making the UK a world leader in the area.
The 2021-22 Genome Implementation Plan sets out bold ambitions to improve care, treatment, and diagnosis through genome sequencing.
Working with partners in the genomics community, the government established 27 commitments to be met over the next twelve months, including the development of global standards and policies for sharing genomic and related health data.
As part of this, the National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust will allocate a total of £ 4.5 million over the next five years to the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health to ensure that the standards are easily accessible and usable throughout the world. genomics and data sharing programs.
Other “high-priority actions” include faster diagnosis and treatment of cancer; complete genome sequencing for patients with rare diseases; and hiring five million people to participate in research to accelerate disease detection.
The work is based on the 100,000 Genomes Project, and the government is now committed to sequencing one million whole genomes (500,000 genomes in the NHS and 500,000 in the UK Biobank), in an attempt to transform healthcare in the UK and create work places.
Innovation Minister Lord Bethell said: “The UK has a proud history in developing genetic and genomic technologies that improve the lives of patients across the country and globally.
“This implementation plan demonstrates the great strides we have already made since the launch of Genome UK and describes the actions we are taking to advance key commitments over the next year.
“It is vital that we continue to maintain and develop our global leadership in this field, to harness the full potential that genomics offers.”
Professor Dame Sue Hill, Scientific Director of the NHS England, added: “The NHS is already a world leader in genomics and has introduced a range of new cutting-edge tests for people with rare diseases and cancer over the past year, despite the pandemic.
“Genomics can really transform the way the patient is cared for, helping to predict and prevent disease, customize treatments, and ultimately save lives.”
The plan is part of the government’s commitment to boost healthcare innovation in the UK, according to a statement from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Follow on Cash injection of £ 37 million for data-driven initiatives to drive the life sciences and genomic industries in the UK.
Genomics England projects that support the implementation of the Genome UK strategy will receive £ 17 million, while the remaining £ 20 million will be invested in projects to “leverage UK health data for research into life sciences ”to make the UK“ the most advanced and data-driven ”around clinical research in the world,” the DHSC said.
Genomics England will use funding to explore public attitudes and the potential value of newborn sequencing, contributing to the rise of ethnic minority data in genomic cohorts and datasets, and supporting a next-generation approach to diagnosing the newborn. cancer.
Funding was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock at the ABPI annual conference in April.