Personalised Health, the US$141.70 bn Opportunity
Genomics the Next Leap Forward
Across the globe, consortiums, comprised of government, academia, companies from the field of genetics, venture capital and healthcare institutions are collaborating on population-wide genomic projects. Primarily to lay the foundation for precision medicine. Through the derivation of insights obtained from the genomic data of thousands of people across the globe.
The United Kingdom
In the UK the 100,000 Genomic Project is set to sequence the genetic profiles (genomes) of 100,000 NHS patients. 70,000 of the genomes will be obtained from individuals with rare diseases or cancer. The long-term goal of Genomics England, is the integration of genomic and personalised medicine into the day-to-day delivery of healthcare in the UK. The NHS is set to be the world’s first healthcare system to launch a genomic medicine service according to George Freeman, Minister for Life science.
Europe – Cross Boarder Data-Driven Healthcare Solutions
In April 2018 13 countries, from within the European Union signed a declaration. Focused on linking genomic databases across multiple jurisdictions. Their primary objective is the optimisation of European health research and clinical practice. Through the following programmes;
The consolidation of a fragmented infrastructure and expertise to support a shared and tangible goal
Make one million genomes accessible in the EU by 2022
Leverage and maximise the investments already made by Member States at national and EU level. In sequencing, bio banking and data infrastructure
Reach a larger cohort that will provide the sufficient scale for new clinically impactful research
Deliver cross boarder data driven precision healthcare solutions
The African Genome Variation Project
In sub-Saharan Africa, the Wellcome Sanger Institute is engaged in the African Genome Variation Project. In partnership with, the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research, the 1000 Genomes Project and the European Genotype Archive. To provide the basic framework for genetic disease studies in Africa. The project will involve the
Genotyping of 2.5 million genetic variants in 100 individuals each from over 10 ethnic groups across sub-Saharan Africa
To provide a dense network of new information about genetic and genomic structure in African populations
The primary goal, is the development of a personalised healthcare system, for the sub-Saharan African population. Through investigating chronic disease within and between African populations.
Asia 100k Initiative
Genomic data on African and Asian populations is limited. The pan-Asian project, led by a consortium of companies, academic and organisations from the field of genetics. Along with the African 100k initiative aims to remedy this oversight. This will ensure that genomic research delivers a broader genetic representation of the human population. The objective of the Asia 100 initiative is;
To sequence 100,000 individuals from 12 South Asian, and 7 North and East Asian countries.
Expedite the application of personalised medical applications for Asian Populations
Create large sets of data that can be leveraged for the use of predictive and prescriptive precision healthcare
US Precision Medicine Initiative
The precision health initiative in the USA, was launched in 2015. To understand how an individuals’ genetics, environment and lifestyle, may be leveraged to determine the optimal approach for personalised treatment.
According to Microgen, the foreseen outcome of these initiatives include;
A greater understanding of the direct ties between diet, genetics and the development of diseases.
Develop a new model for conducting scientific research in the field of pharmacy.
Advance pharmacogenomics to ensure individualised treatment plans that identify the right drug at the right dosage for each patient.
Lay the scientific foundation for both the treatment and cure of many diseases.
Replace existing, invasive treatments for current diseases. They could even make chemotherapy a thing of the past.
The Middle East
In 2013, Saudi Arabia launched the 100k genome project. Funded by the Saudi National Science Agency the programme focused on identifying the genetic basis of disease in the Saudi population.
It is already mandatory for couples in Saudi Arabia to be screened for sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia diseases that are commonplace in the country. As a means of disease risk prevention. The long-term goal is to screen couples for hereditary disease prior to marriage, and the development of more effective personalised medical interventions.
Diversity in Genomic Data
Diversity in genomic data is key to ensure that personalised health is not fragmented and uneven. Medical practitioners around the world have commenced with initiatives including; East London Genes & Health a study linking medical and genomic data from 100,000 people of South East Asian origin.
The human hereditary and health in Africa initiative H3Africa. This is a joint venture between the US National Institute of Health, the UK Welcome Trust, and the African Society of Human Genetics.
All of the aforementioned initiatives will provide a powerful and rich source of information, to benefit humankind.