The consortium consists of IDBS, hosting firm Quantix Ltd, and leading cancer centers at King’s Health Partners and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre.
Growing healthcare costs and poor patient outcomes are driving increased interest in collaboration to support stratified medicines as a means to deliver targeted, safe and cost effective treatments. Research into stratified medicines is severely curtailed by poor access to high quality patient data and the deluge in associated genetic, molecular and image information. The innovative ‘Acropolis’ (Advanced Collaborative Research for Oncology Platform for Improved Outcomes, Learnings, Insight and Science) platform will provide the essential cancer informatics infrastructure to support secure stratified medicine research and collaboration, including data handling, storage, retrieval and analysis services that will acquire, pseudonymize and integrate data from a wide variety of diverse sources. The platform will enable multiple organizations within the health science ecosystem, including medical centers and pharmaceutical research and diagnostic companies, to identify patient populations and better understand genetic drivers for cancer.
IDBS’ successful Tumour Profiling and Data Capture consortium is a £3m project supported by £1.5m investment by the commercial partners and a £1.5m grant from The Technology Strategy Board as part of the UK’s Stratified Medicines Innovation Platform (SMIP). Announcing the initiative in 2010, David Willetts MP, Secretary of State for Universities and Science said: “Tailoring medicines to patients is a key challenge for the $750 billion global pharmaceutical market. The UK possesses many strengths needed to accelerate the innovation of stratified medicines and lead the world in developing medicines targeted at smaller subgroups of patients.”
The project is closely aligned with the Cancer Research UK Stratified Medicines project to integrate data from six experimental cancer medical centers. The SMIP will receive an investment of over £50 million of government funding over five years, funding research and development in areas such as tumour profiling to improve cancer care and developing biomarkers, for more effective drugs and diagnostics.
The project’s Advisory Board will include Professor Peter Parker FRS (Head of Cancer Studies, King’s College London), Professor Tony Whetton (Head of Cancer and Enabling Sciences, Manchester University), and representatives from Quantix, Roche Pharmaceutical, Cancer Research UK, PA Consulting and the National Institute of Health Research.
“IDBS is delighted to be working with the Technology Strategy Board and our other partners to deliver a new infrastructure for stratified medicine in the UK,” said Neil Kipling, founder and CEO of IDBS. “This project will enable collaboration between medical research and industry, which is essential to improving patient outcomes in cancer and other disease areas.”
Professor Peter Parker, Head of Cancer Studies at King’s College London, and sponsor of the King’s Health Partners initiative said: “This innovative platform will put translational research activities onto another level, providing unprecedented opportunities to collaborate between organizations, and ultimately leading to improved treatments across global healthcare systems.”