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£5 million investment in personalized medicines to cut patient deaths
Date:9/5/2007

A 5 million investment in the development of personalised medicines at the University of Liverpool will see the introduction of treatments tailored for individual patients.

Liverpool research estimates that a quarter of a million people are admitted to hospital in the UK each year following adverse reactions to a variety of commonly prescribed drugs which costs the NHS an average of 466 million annually. Personalised medication is based on a patients unique genetic make-up, allowing clinicians to prescribe the correct drug to the patient at the correct dose to achieve the maximum benefit and minimise the risk of drug side-effects.

The University has been selected by the Department of Health to receive a 3 million NHS Chair in Pharmacogenetics the first and only such position in the country. Professor Munir Pirmohamed from the Universitys Department of Pharmacology has been appointed to the Chair and will pioneer a major initiative to establish the clinical evidence base for safe and effective medication based on a patients unique genetic make-up and other factors such as diet and smoking.

Professor Pirmohamed will lead a team of 11 scientists, researchers and nurses in identifying gene groups which dictate a patients positive or negative response to a drug. The multidisciplinary team will tap into the North Wests large patient base to collect genetic information to test against medication for illnesses such as epilepsy and asthma, which can be affected by a patients genetic make-up. The Chair will complement a 10 million Centre for Personalised Medicines being created at the University.

The research, which will be carried out in collaboration with the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Royal Liverpool Childrens Hospital and other hospitals in the North West, will focus on areas of public health importance including:

  • Anticonvulsant therapy in epilepsy
  • Inhaled steroids in children with asthma
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Contact: Joanna Robotham
joanna.robotham@liv.ac.uk
44-015-179-42026
University of Liverpool
Source:Eurekalert

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