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Home Industry News NHS patients invited to take part in Biobank initiative

NHS patients invited to take part in Biobank initiative

12th September 2007

NHS patients across England have been invited to participate in a multi-million pound public health research initiative to boost information about curing a number of life threatening conditions and other serious diseases.

The UK Biobank scheme will seek to provide a research resource for conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, among other medical complaints.

Following the receipt of patient consent, UK Biobank will track the health of volunteers aged 40-69 over a long-term period of at least 30 years, with the aim of recruiting 500,000 individuals to the programme.

The programme will seek to reveal the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in a number of diseases, rather than focusing solely on genetic factors.

Professor Sally Davies, director general of research and development at the Department of Health (DoH), said: “An important part of the [DOH]’s work is to stand behind research aimed at tackling important health problems and improving NHS care.”

She added that the government is pleased to partner the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust and other groups to support the UK Biobank initiative.

Earlier this month, the DoH announced the appointment of Professor Muni Pirmohamed as the new NHS chair in pharmacogenetics following the granting of a new contract to host this position.

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