A £10million Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine was launched today by Invest Northern Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast.
The Centre of Excellence in Precision Medicine will develop an internationally accredited laboratory focusing on diagnostics which can be used to predict a cancer patients’ response to treatment. This will allow potentially costly drugs to be used more effectively by being prescribed only to those that can benefit from them.
Making the announcement, Invest NI’s Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton said: “This new Precision Medicine Centre will provide access to R&D facilities for both local and international companies. It has the potential to develop ground breaking treatments for cancer patients and will further enhance the personalised medicine and oncology research sector in Northern Ireland. While initially research will focus on cancer, this could extend into other areas of precision medicine in the future.
“Northern Ireland has a strong and internationally recognised Life & Health Sciences sector, which boasts globally renowned leaders including Almac and Randox. The Centre will contribute to the continued international recognition of Northern Ireland based research in this field.
“The Centre will also create 17 new high quality roles which will generate over £800,000 in annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy.”
The Centre will be located at the Centre of Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University. The 17 new roles will attract average salaries of £48,000.
Invest NI has offered £5.8million of support towards the £10million project.
Queen’s University Belfast Acting President and Vice-Chancellor Professor James McElnay said: “Queen’s University Belfast is at the forefront of Molecular Pathology, biomarker validation and test adoption in the UK. This Centre of Excellence brings a unique dimension to the bridging of academia and industry, making the fabric of our biotechnology sector in NI and the UK as a whole significantly stronger.”
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