By Nathan McNally
Why, Who and When
The P4 Precision Medicine Accelerator led by The Institute for Precision Medicine in collaberation with Capital Enterprise was created due to the observations of Profesor Phil Beales and Nathan McNally. Phil beleives that precision medicine and genomics can revolutionise healthcare. The programme launched in July accepting 11 companies.
Precision Medicine is the next generation of healthcare research that has the potential to provide significant benefits to patients, and affect strategic shifts in the way healthcare is delivered. It uses an individual’s genetic profile to guide decisions about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Developing new diagnostic tests and expanding the use of biomarkers enables the identification of the molecular cause of disease, and ultimately supports the development of novel, more precisely targeted treatments. The healthcare industry is opening up to using AI and precision medicine in a clinical setting. NHS have publsihed numerous articles around the benefits of precision medicine and included in recent 5 year plans. Backed up projects such as the 100,000 genome project, NHSx and how it can transform a traditionally one size fits all care to a true personalised service, meaning the right treatment at the right time. The NHS and other healthcare organisations are increasingly looking to partner with academia and indistry to accelerate the improvement of healthcare.
With Great Improvement comes Great Barriers
Barriers med/healthtech start-ups face that are not so prevalent with other start-ups. Through collaborations with UCL and other support institutions there has been over 1500 start-ups come through accelerators, incubators, universities with the med/healthtech start-ups facing barriers to accessing collaborations, grant support, gaining regulatory approval, access to patients, test beds and support to next rounds of funding. The environment for building a med/health tech business is very different from building a business in a traditional sector such as IOT or Fintech where the landscape is well trodden. Collaberation access is facilaited through the programme with access to academcis and clinicians through the wide network at UCL, other univiersities and other research insitituions. Also time is a major factor, precision medicine can bridge class i all the way to class iii, this means that most are in translational research phase and have to build the tech to stringent regulatory guidlines, this means accessing funding is fundimental. In provinding grant support and access to angel and VC networks the programme facilitate the R&D to support in building out feasiblity tests, collecting training data, clincial evidence and clinical trials.
The P4 Accelerator Programme bridges this gap. The programme brings together a host of ecosystem players to support in overcoming the above mentioned barriers and support the companies to scale and adopt into the healthcare system. Precision medicine pulls together multi-disciplinary skill sets and so the ecosystem needs multifaceted players. This is why the partnership with the likes of Barclays Eagle Labs in opening up a new centre in Moorgate and working with UCLPartners to build relationships with the 23 hospitals and the ever growing partnerships the team build to further move precision medicine forwards.
Together with the programme and the new heath tech hub the collaborations aim to be a catalyst to translate research in to positive patient impact and bring a new horizon of healthcare.