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8 February 2016, 11:59
Research into diseases such as pancreatic cancer and multiple sclerosis will be boosted by a £4 million government investment in precision medicine.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the money on a visit to the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.
Precision medicine is the practice of linking detailed biology such as DNA to health and disease, allowing treatment to be tailored to the individual characteristics of each patient.
The cash will be used over the next 15 months to set up a "precision medicine ecosystem'' to co-ordinate precision medicine resources and opportunities across Scotland, bring together the findings from individual research projects and improve information-sharing in the fight against diseases.
It will also support two flagship national programmes, one of which will better characterise pancreatic cancer, allowing patients to be recruited to clinical trials efficiently, and the other which will study multiple sclerosis at genetic level to help answer why the condition progresses differently in individual patients.
The First Minister said: "This is a really exciting development that could transform how we treat some of the most serious illnesses.
"To be able to analyse the DNA of a tumour, for example, to determine how best to fight that patient's cancer, is a fascinating step forward in medical science and something that this Government is absolutely committed to investing in.
"The precision medicine ecosystem will undoubtedly reap benefits for patients in Scotland by speeding up the development of new medical therapies and enhancing the healthcare treatment options that are on offer for patients.
"Continued investment in precision medicine can undoubtedly help bring health and wealth benefits for generations to come.''