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Personalised Medicine - The future of biopharmaceuticals

April 4 2007

Venue: Queen Mother Conference Centre, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Organised by: Innogen

As part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, this event will give us an insight into medicines of the future and lead an audience-based discussion on the issues raised by this exciting scientific breakthrough.


Take a step into the future and imagine a consultation with your doctor. Your condition is diagnosed using laser diagnostic technology. You hand over your swipe card on which your individual genome has been digitally recorded. Within seconds your doctor has produced a customised treatment plan tailored to your genetic make-up. Personalised medicine has become a reality?


Two years ago, scientists decoded the human genome. The final blueprint was published exactly 50 years after Watson and Crick discovered the unique, double-helix structure of DNA. Decoding the human genome is one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of our lifetime, leaving the door wide open for an exciting future for personalised medicine.


Our genome makes us all unique, and makes each one of us respond differently to illness and treatment. Yet traditionally, the medical profession has adopted a `one disease, one drug' approach, with little attention being paid to complex individual variations. The biggest challenge, and possibly also the biggest opportunity, facing the pharmaceutical industry today is to customise treatments specifically to suit different categories of patient. The insights from the human genome project, combined with ever-increasing understanding of how genetic variability and metabolic individuality are linked, are opening the doors to a new era of personalised medicine or biopharmaceuticals.


But is personalised medicine all good news? What are the risks? How will it be regulated? What opportunities will it provide? Do we need it? How much will it cost? How will developing countries keep up?


Professor Joyce Tait, Director of the ESRC Innogen Centre, will introduce Dr Allen Roses, Senior Vice President of Genetics Research at GlaxoSmithKline, North Carolina to give us an insight into medicines of the future and lead an audience-based discussion on the issues raised by this exciting scientific breakthrough. This will culminate in the audience participating in digital voting that will be used to ascertain audience opinion. The event will also be available as a pod-cast and video-streamed onto the Innogen website.

http://www.genomicsnetwork.ac.uk/innogen/events/pastevents/publicevents/furtherdetails,1345,en.t4.html