A NHS Genomic Medicine Service will be rolled out across England from October 2018 to help embed genome sequencing into routine hospital care and ensure that the NHS “stays at the forefront of healthcare delivery”, it has been announced.
The development comes as the 100,000 Genomes Project has sequenced over 70,000 genomes, with Genomics England adding that the project is on track to reach its goal of 100,000 genomes by the end of 2018.
NHS England says that the NHS Genomic Medicine Service will provide “comprehensive and equitable access to the latest in genomic testing” and will enable more personalised treatments.
Lord James O’Shaughnessy, under secretary of state for health in the House of Lords, said: “Genomic medicine is no longer a thing of the future, it’s here now and helping to save lives.”
John Mattick, chief executive of Genomic England, said: “As the technology and our understanding continue to grow over the coming years, we will provide genome analyses to inform personalised treatments and preventative actions tailored to individual circumstances.”
After the 100,000 genome project is completed, Genomics England will continue to support the NHS Genomic Medicine Service and encourage new discoveries and their translation into novel medicines and treatments.
Mark Caulfield, chief scientist at Genomics England, said: “It has already changed the lives of many patients with cancer or a rare disease in the UK, and now this programme will expand to further transform genomic health in the NHS with improved outcomes for many more.”