Precision medicine firm shares in £16m funding to advance technology

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A trailblazing Manchester company is among 13 UK SMEs sharing £16m of Government funds aimed at preventing and treating diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Microbiosensor is developing a novel low-cost diagnostic same-day test for urinary tract infections.

Their technology will alert patients and/or physicians to an escalating infection to ensure the appropriate antibiotics prescription.

It is one of 13 ‘precision medicine’ projects from UK-based SMEs that will use a combination of information about a patient’s genes, proteins and environment, and medical images to improve patients’ health.

Projects involving some of the other recipients are exploring cell-based therapy to treat a currently incurable form of lung cancer, as well as developing a blood test for early detection of brain cancer.

Precision medicine technology uses a combination of information about a patient’s genes, proteins and environment, and medical images to prevent and treat diseases. It can even lead to early diagnosis.

Nearly £7m in government investment has attracted a further £10m from the private sector to help med tech companies achieve commercial breakthrough.

This funding is available as part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

Alongside this funding, a competition has now opened allowing medical companies to be in with the chance to win a slice of £22m to develop digital pathology technologies, which could help medical professionals diagnose diseases.

Over the past 12 years the Government has invested more than £2.2bn in innovation, which has spanned more than 11,000 projects generating up to £16bn for the UK economy and 70,000 jobs.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “From the discovery of penicillin, to the invention of the hip replacement operation, the UK has a rich history of driving crucial medical breakthroughs.

“Now UK firms are on the precipice of ground-breaking advances using ‘precision medicine’ technologies – meaning early diagnosis and better treatment for devastating diseases including cancer and heart disease.

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are delivering the biggest ever boost to R&D funding in UK history.

This new £16m investment in the UK’s brightest medical gamechangers will propel crucial research from laboratory to market, ensuring the population can reap the rewards of these life-saving advances, sooner rather than later.”

Dr Kath Mackay, director of ageing society, Health and Nutrition at Innovate UK, said: “Precision medicine is the future of healthcare, so by working with equity investors in this way we increase the likelihood of game-changing medical innovations coming to market as soon as possible.

“Our shared national challenge is to gain a deeper understanding of human physiology using genetic insights and advances in technology.

“This will treat more diseases more effectively, reduce suffering arising from unintended side effects of a one-size-fits-all approach, and also reduce costs of treatments for many people.”

The NHS ensures patient data is protected and handled securely, only used for the good of health and care – and has strict rules about who can access the personal data they process.

Patients can decide if health and care information that could identify them is used for research and planning – and can choose to stop their confidential patient information being used.