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Stratified medicine initiative: short-listed proposals to second call for disease focused-consortia

13 May 2014

The MRC has announced nine short-listed proposals that could be funded under the second phase of its £60m Stratified Medicine Initiative, which aims to boost our understanding of why groups of patients with the same diagnosis differ in their response to treatment.

Parties who believe that they could make a valuable contribution to these short-listed proposals are invited to contact the relevant teams.

The nine short-listed applications for full proposals are in asthma, cancer, hypertension, the lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, lupus, a kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome and transplantation.

The MRC is providing funds to the short-listed proposals to help them carry out networking activities and to further develop and plan their ideas.

Patients with the same disease often respond differently to treatment because of subtle differences in their underlying disease mechanisms. For example, patients with a specific gene mutation may respond to treatment differently to patients without the mutation. Stratified medicine groups patients into different ‘strata’ based on these differences and treats them accordingly.

However, before this can happen, groups of patients must be studied to determine the underlying mechanisms and stratify a disease, determine the best treatments for different groups and develop diagnostics to guide treatment.

For this reason, following consultations with a range of stakeholders, the MRC has adopted a disease-focused approach to stratified medicine. In October 2013, we requested proposals to a second call to develop research consortia exploring why a disease was ripe for stratification, mechanisms underpinning this stratification and how the stratification would provide real benefit to patients.

In contrast to the initiative’s first call, applications from all disease areas, including cancer, were welcomed.

The MRC received 34 outline applications to the second call. An expert panel comprising clinicians; academics; representatives of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies; disease charities and international members shortlisted the nine applications, which will now be required to submit full applications by 17 July 2014.

We are now calling on the UK research community — clinical, academic and industry — to join the research consortia being developed to stratify these diseases, with the aim that each consortium should provide an inclusive, internationally competitive, dynamic platform for research that will create opportunities for further funding and collaboration.

All interested parties should contact the relevant lead PI, in the first instance, to discuss the consortium’s plan and how they might be able to contribute to this.

The nine consortia supported to date have had strong patient involvement and industry engagement, with a total of 41 industrial partners, and build on the UK’s excellent existing clinical research infrastructure.

For more information visit www.mrc.ac.uk/Fundingopportunities/Calls/StratifiedMedicineSecondCall/

Short-listed applications for full proposals
Principle Investigator Research Organisation Title

Professor Ian Bruce

The University of Manchester

MAximizing Sle ThERapeutic PotentiaL by Application of Novel and Systematic approaches (MASTERPLANS)

Professor Phil Chowienczyk

King's College London

Ancestry and biological Informative Markers for stratification of Hypertension: The AIM HY study

Professor Liam Heaney

Queen's University of Belfast

UK Refractory Asthma Stratification Programme

Professor Peter Johnson

University of Southampton

Precision medicine for aggressive lymphomas

Professor Graham Lord

King's College London

The prevention of organ allograft failure by stratified immunomodulation: the prevention and treatment of anti-donor specific antibodies.

Professor Timothy Maughan

University of Oxford

Stratification in COloRectal cancer: from biology to Treatment prediction: S-CORT

Professor Christian Ottensmeier

University of Southampton

SPARC: A Stratified & Personalized Approach to Research into Immunotherapy for Cancer

Professor Luca Richeldi

University of Southampton

Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (SORT-IPF)

Professor Moin Saleem

University of Bristol

CoNeCon - The comprehensive Nephrotic Syndrome Consortium. Targeting treatment to the podocyte.



  • Categories: Funding
  • Health categories: Blood, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Inflammatory
  • Locations: Other
  • Type: News article