‘Stratified medicine’ is the grouping of patients based on risk of disease or response to therapy by using diagnostic tests or techniques. Patients and healthcare providers both benefit from more targeted and effective treatments, whereas industry benefits from the potential for more efficient therapeutic development as well as the market expansion for these new treatments.
The development of stratified medicine is being pursued globally as its benefits are increasingly recognised. The UK is uniquely placed to capitalise on its potential, owing to its strong academic and industrial research base, the wealth of data within the NHS, and highly capable agencies for health technology assessment and pharmaceutical regulation.
Increasing the pace of progress in stratified medicine requires multiple actions by many stakeholders.
The Academy of Medical Sciences report ‘Realising the potential of stratified medicine’, July 2013
Manchester’s expertise is exemplified by its success as either the lead organisation or as partner in three of six stratified medicine programmes funded by the Medical Research Council. These large consortia comprise academic groups, the NHS, industry and patients:
- The MATURA consortium, jointly led by The University of Manchester and Queen Mary University of London, aims to enable early, effective treatment and improve the cost-effectiveness of care for around 500,000 people in the UK who suffer from the painful inflammatory condition rheumatoid arthritis.
- The PSORT (Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy) consortium, led by The University of Manchester, aims to use existing knowledge about psoriasis, both clinical and scientific, and an unparalleled patient base, coupled to involvement of patient organisations and state-of-the-art investigative tools, to develop tests that can be used in the clinic to help direct personalised treatments.
- The STRATA (Schizophrenia: Treatment Resistance and Therapeutic Advances) consortium, which involves The University of Manchester, aims to develop a method to predict, ultimately as early as first hospital admission, which patients will respond to standard dopamine drugs, and which people are instead more likely to respond to the new glutamate drugs currently under development.