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Translational medicine - realising the UK's potential in biomedicine

Translational medicine has the potential to act as an important source of new products for a UK healthcare sector faced with dwindling pipelines and reimbursement. This approach to the biomedical development process involves integrating clinical data and insight at a far earlier stage than usual in order to speed up the introduction of new treatments.

See our recent article: Developing a personalised approach to cancer treatments.

The UK government has made significant investment in the infrastructure required to foster translational activity. This includes establishing five Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) and, through National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) initiatives, the Biomedical Research Centres and Biomedical Research Units. However, the long-term funding for this infrastructure is not guaranteed in the absence of evidence of sustainability.

To ensure its biomedical infrastructure survives and that its investment in translational medicine  is realised, the UK needs to encourage new commercial models and ways of working within and around its biomedical centres.

For example:

  • The best clinical and academic people (and teams) for any given area of biomedical research across the UK need to collaborate rather than compete for the same grants. These teams also need to reach out internationally to link with, and collaborate with, the best to get better.
  • Relationships between these clinical-academic groups and industry need to be developed and neither can pharmaceutical companies continue to be seen as vast funding resources. Clinical-academic groups must come together with industry to develop new models that benefit both parties fairly.
  • The collection and sharing of clinical data and samples needs to be facilitated by one or more trusted and independent bodies that are incentivised to make sure this valuable information is collated, catalogued and curated in a systematic fashion. Currently this is being done in an intermittent and piecemeal way resulting in huge losses in the system and inaccessibility.
  • The UK needs to find ways of working with partners from the emerging markets to combine its science, patient data and healthcare innovation with the funding and unmet need of the emerging markets.  While some companies are already seeking to locate elements of R&D near their future end markets, there is a significant opportunity to share learning with these regions, and to align the data and sample protocols to expedite drug development on a global scale.

PA Consulting Group and 4D Biomedical launch annual translational medicine foresighting report .

Translational medicine, integrating clinical data and insight into the biomedical development process at an earlier stage, is finally delivering on its promise of facilitating the creation and development of effective medicines that lead to better outcomes for patients, according to a new report launched by PA Consulting Group and 4D Biomedical (4D). The report is based on the views of experts from government, clinical academic and private sector organisations who attended PA and 4D’s annual translational medicine foresighting event.

Download the PA and 4D translational medicine report.

The benefits of translational medicine have so far been constrained due to limited access to clinical data, the technology to interrogate this data and outdated business models. According to PA’s report, these challenges are now being addressed.

Listen to the experts at the PA / 4D foresighting event

About PA and 4D

PA Consulting Group and 4D Biomedical recently held a summit exploring these issues. We concluded that the UK can become a leader in translational medicine but only if it changes its approach, embraces new initiatives and develops its relationships and interaction with the healthcare sectors of the emerging markets.

The collaboration between PA and 4D Biomedical combines PA's strengths in healthcare technology and large-scale process development with 4D's specialist expertise in setting up ground-breaking translational medicine initiatives. As an example of our work, PA helped design a new end-to-end stroke care pathwaycovering prevention, acute intervention, rehabilitation and community care.

To take advantage of the opportunities of translational medicine in the future of healthcare provision, please contact us now.

(1) Source: Datamonitor

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