Boston, Massachusetts has a reputation as one of the top life sciences clusters in the world, due in large part to its unique cooperation between industry, government and academia. It has more biotech research and development employees than anywhere else in the USA and is home to thousands of well-funded life sciences companies who are driving innovation.
Ovarian cancer is often known as the ‘silent killer’, because its symptoms can be mistaken for other less harmful conditions, or simply put down to changes in the body due to ageing. This means around 7 in 10 cases are diagnosed at a late stage, by which time the cancer has often spread or is difficult to cure.
Kirsty carried out a work placement at Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC) as part of her MSc in Stratified Medicine and Pharmacological Innovation, which she studied at the University of Glasgow.
The one-year course is being developed in conjunction with SMS-IC and aims to create a highly trained workforce that will help address a shortage of skills in stratified medicine, which is a key growth sector in Scotland’s economy. Places on the course are fully funded by the Scottish Funding Council.
Today (Monday 18 June) MSP Johann Lamont visited the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC) in Glasgow, to see first-hand how it is bringing together industry innovators, clinicians and world-class researchers together to work on precision medicine.
Precision medicine ensures drugs are specifically targeted to a person’s genetic makeup rather than a “one size fits all” approach. This helps get the right treatment to the right person at the right time, improving outcomes for patients and slashing the costs of ineffective treatments, saving lives and scarce NHS resources.
Rheumatoid Arthritis currently affects around 35,000 people in Scotland. It causes joint pain, swelling and stiffness, affecting a patient’s mobility and interfering with their quality of life and ability to work. Patients may need long-term treatment to control their symptoms and reduce joint damage.
Despite the fact that treatment options have improved in the last 20 years, the UK National Audit Office estimates that rheumatoid arthritis costs the NHS around £560 million every year. A significant part of this cost is down to failed treatments.
Professor Iain McInnes of the University of Glasgow explains how a precision medicine project being carried out by Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre could help both patients and the NHS.