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Life Science Innovation Q3 2022

Leading UK healthcare through the power of genomics

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Nishan Sunthares

Managing Director, Diagnostics, ABHI

A combination of the NHS and national institutions, a strong science and research base, a thriving life sciences industry, and private and public funding has allowed the UK to harness the potential of genomics to transform healthcare.

The United Kingdom’s leadership in genomics is recognised globally, from the completion of the 100,000 Genomes Project to Covid-19 surveillance through genomic sequencing. Genome UK, which is the UK Government’s 10-year strategy for genomics, sets out an ambition for the UK to be the world’s most advanced genomic healthcare ecosystem. This presents opportunities to accelerate research, develop innovations in new technologies, and apply genomics in the clinical setting to diagnose diseases at an earlier stage, improve therapies, and predict and prevent diseases before they might appear.

Increased accessibility in healthcare

This is a hugely exciting prospect and strongly aligned with ABHI’s vision to make health technologies accessible to all who need them when they are needed, allowing disease to be detected and treated earlier. In cancer care, harnessing the power of genomics is enabling a shift to personalised medicine through better diagnosis, determining responses to therapies, and raising outcomes by identifying treatments targeted to specific cancer types.

Scientific and clinical research is making use of large troves of data and advances in bioinformatics, data science, and analytics to understand more about the human body and the progression of major diseases. This is used to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics and to bring those benefits back into health care.

The UK is in a fantastic position to lead this revolution in science, technology and healthcare delivery.

A revolutionary benefit to various sectors

The UK is in a fantastic position to lead this revolution in science, technology and healthcare delivery. Shared standards for collecting, storing and sharing genomic data across the entire UK genomics ecosystem to build and maintain trust in genomic healthcare are key enablers to delivering the ambition of the Genome UK strategy.

These are strong foundations for a thriving industrial sector in the UK, and subsequently, to scale across the globe. As the UK’s trade association for the healthtech sector, many of our members are already leading the field in this area, and the signs suggest that we are only beginning to scratch the surface as to what is possible. The genomics revolution is coming, and the UK is a genuine world leader.

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