Genomics England is key partner in two HDRUK Digital Innovation Hubs

Today, Health Data Research UK (HDRUK) announced that seven data hubs are to be set up across the UK to speed up research for new medicines and treatments. This initiative will support quicker diagnoses, with the potential to save lives. The hubs will focus on curated, disease-focused datasets, clinical trials, and real world evidence. Genomics England is a key partner in two of these hubs: DATA-CAN and Discover-NOW.

DATA-CAN: Using cutting-edge research and innovation to benefit UK patients

DATA-CAN – the Health Data Research UK Hub for Cancer – aims to transform how cancer data from across the UK can be used to improve patient care. The hub will work with patients to bring their clinical data together and use this data to help develop improved cancer treatments, give patients faster access to clinical trials, and understand how we can improve NHS cancer services. The hub, hosted by UCLPartners, will be supported by patients, charities, clinicians, academic and industry-based researchers and innovators, and will involve cancer hospitals across the country. Other partners include Queen’s University Belfast, University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and IQVIA.

DATA-CAN Director Dr Charlie Davie of UCLPartners said:

Working across all four nations of the United Kingdom, DATA-CAN is a unique partnership of NHS organisations, patients, charities, academia and industry working together to improve cancer care by harnessing anonymous clinical and genetic data to provide cancer patients with faster access to clinical trials, and to enable the development of new and improved medicines and treatment approaches.

The Hub will help us to provide the highest quality data allowing transformative change in cancer care

Jacqui Gath, cancer survivor and patient advocate (ICPV/YHCRP), said:

Patients want their data to be used to improve care. In fact they’re often surprised it’s not used already.

The work of the Hub and the new research it engenders will bring hope to the people who are diagnosed every year with this awful disease. One in two people will get cancer in their lifetimes and this Hub offers the hope and opportunity of saving 30,000 lives a year.

More information about DATA-CAN can be found here.

Discover-NOW: Using real world data to improve understanding of many long-term conditions

Discover-NOW is the Health Data Research Hub for Real World Evidence.  It is a unique partnership, led by Imperial College Health Partners, bringing together NHS organisations, globally recognised academic, technology, industry and charity partners as well as patients and the public to revolutionise the way health information is used to treat and prevent disease in the future.

Historically, health research has predominantly used data to look retrospectively. Through safe and secure curation of patient information, Discover-NOW will provide leading clinicians, researchers and scientists with access to de-identified linked patient information at scale in near to real time. This will enable them to look prospectively to identify new patterns in disease thus helping us to better manage many conditions and, in some cases, prevent them happening in the first place.

Discover-NOW Director Dr Axel Heitmueller said:

Through the safe and secure curation of patient information Discover-NOW will create a step change in the way health information is accessed and analysed to accelerate the development of new treatments, devices and applications that support better management and prevention of a range of conditions. This work will benefit millions of people into the future and contribute significantly to the health and wellbeing of our population.

John Norton, Citizen Partner of Discover-NOW said:

As a London citizen I am hugely excited about this initiative and the benefits it will bring to patients and the public. Through bringing information that already exists about us as patients together and enabling researchers and scientists to access this in new and secure ways, the Discover-NOW Hub could be the key to unlocking new life saving treatments or even preventing killer diseases altogether. Data really can save lives.

Find out more about Discover-NOW here.

Genomics England’s Chief Commercial Officer Joanne Hackett said:

We are delighted to be part of these two important Digital Innovation Hubs. We have a unique opportunity in this country to unite across healthcare, industry and academia using our expertise in genomic data. This is an important demonstration of the UK’s commitment to lead on innovative and practical approaches, to improve research and patient outcomes. We look forward to collaborating with our partners on this important work.

The Health Data Research Hubs are part of a four-year £37million investment from the Government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), led by UK Research and Innovation, to create a UK-wide system for the safe and responsible use of health-related data on a large scale.

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