New state owned company will spearhead DNA sequencing in the NHS

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 08 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4407
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

A new organisation, Genomics England, is to run a pioneering scheme to sequence the genome of 100 000 patients over the next five years, starting with patients with lung and paediatric cancers, rare diseases, and infectious diseases.

Announcing the detailed arrangements for the scheme, first promised by the prime minister last December, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that it was an appropriate way to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the NHS, which falls today.

Genomics England, to be chaired by Sir John Chisholm, would provide the investment and leadership necessary to sequence genomes at scale and pace, he said, driving down costs as it drove up the investment in a totally new sphere of science.

“The result will be pioneering scientific research hand in hand with commercial investment—the birth of a world beating life sciences industry right here in the UK,” he claimed. “Creating jobs and prosperity, yes, but also unlocking the key to more sustainable healthcare. And helping us, through the …

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