Cash boost for pharmacogenomics

Five million sterling (about $11m) is being invested in the development of personalised medicines at the University of Liverpool. The money will help fund research into pharmacogenomics, which will ultimately lead to the introduction of treatments tailored for individual patients. The Liverpool team estimates that a quarter of a million people are admitted to hospital in the UK each year following adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to common prescription drugs, the equivalent figures for the US are just as high proportionally. However, if the physician could check a patient's likely response to a specific drug in advance of administering it based on the patient's genetic profile, such ADRs might be minimized by prescribing an alternative therapy. As such, pharmacogenomics aims to achieve maximum benefit and reduced risk of ADRs or side-effects.