The Medical Research Council and Technology Strategy Board in the UK have announced that they will jointly invest £3.7m in seven major research projects, which will study and develop personalised medicine.

The projects will be lead by pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca UK, GlaxoSmithKline, Ig Innovations , Janssen UK and Randox Laboratories .

Four of the projects will develop the use of biomarkers to predict how groups of patients respond to inflammation and immunology therapies. In this way, therapies could be given only to relevant patient subgroups for better results in alleviating symptoms and side effects.

The other three projects relate to developing business models to help determine the best ways to co-develop drugs and companion diagnostics.

The Technology Strategy Board’s chief executive Iain Gray said, “Here in the UK, we have many of the strengths needed to accelerate the innovation of stratified – or personalised – medicines and to become a world leader in developing medicines aimed at smaller sub-groups of patients.

These investments are the first in a programme that is bringing scientific research, businesses and policymakers together to develop the personalised, targeted drugs and treatments of the future.”

The investment is the first to be made through the Technology Strategy Board-managed stratified medicine innovation platform, an initiative that will oversee an investment of over £50m of government funding in research and development.