Initial six centres of excellence in UK PM network named Teams in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford

The Precision Medicine Catapult, the UK’s innovation centre for precision medicine, announces today that Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford will be the initial locations for its regional centres of excellence network.

Each centre will act as a hub for regional precision medicine activities within the UK-wide network, co-ordinated from the Cambridge headquarters. The Catapults are a UK Government initiative, established and part-funded through Innovate UK.

The centres of excellence will work on locally driven programmes and use the Precision Medicine Catapult network to harness the breadth of UK expertise, developing innovative technologies and solutions for broader use across the UK’s healthcare sector.

John McKinley, CEO of the Precision Medicine Catapult, said, ‘We’re delighted to announce the location of these centres of excellence, each with access to a unique blend of regional expertise. Project development work has been ongoing across the UK and we will be launching offices and related programmes over the coming months. As well as growing the UK’s strong position in precision medicine, we believe our network will deliver health and economic impact at a local and national level.’

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson, who is today in Glasgow where one of the centres will be, said, ‘The UK is a world leader in the life sciences and that’s in no small part thanks to innovative firms and academics across the country. As a One Nation Government we are committed to strengthening our capabilities in this crucial sector. These centres of excellence will join together a network of researchers to develop precision medicine technologies that will save lives and support growth in our world-class life science industry.’

Ruth McKernan, Innovate UK Chief Executive, said, ‘It is important that we draw on the UK’s research and clinical expertise in precision medicine from across the country. Understanding which types of patients will benefit most from treatments requires effective use of diagnostic testing and data-based insights. The Precision Medicine Catapult’s reach to patients for clinical trials purposes will be enhanced through the national network of centres of excellence.’

A physical presence will be established at each centre, with local recruitment to build expert teams. The centres will work collaboratively with local, national and global stakeholders including government, academia, health systems and SMEs, with broad industry engagement to identify and resolve barriers to building a leading UK precision medicine industry.

Expertise in core areas such as data analytics, clinical trials, regulatory affairs and health economics will be based at the Cambridge head office, along with business services. Activities across all centres will include support of major clinical and data programmes, such as testing of new precision medicine-ready clinical trial models and the development of NHS adoption routes. Development of new diagnostics, IT and e-health systems are also fundamental to the success of the UK’s precision medicine industry, and the Precision Medicine Catapult will work with government initiatives, industry and regulators to build the sector.