Mental Health statistics: time to help

Mental illnesses are continuously affecting individuals and families. There are a wide range of mental illnesses that fall into different sub categories. Examples of mental illnesses include Depression, anxiety, Bipolar and Schizophrenia.

25% of young women suffer from a mental illness

Everyday more and more people are diagnosed with a mental illness especially women. Mental illnesses are also becoming more frequent in the younger population. A recent study conducted in 2017 by the NHS and involved more than 9,000 individuals. The results of this study were that 1 in 4 Young women will develop a mental illness and a total of 23.9% reported having a disorder.

More needs to be done around the topic of mental illnesses due to how common they are amongst the whole population. Mental illnesses are most common in young females. I believe that more needs to be done around the topic of mental illnesses due to how common they are amongst the whole population. As they are most common in young females I hope I will be able to help other young females who are suffering from a mental illness by contributing to creating awareness around this issue.

Poor Mental Health and triggers

There are many factors which may contribute to the development of a mental Illness in young females such as exam stress, which a large proportion of teenagers will have to face. Body image is also a significant factor. This factor is enhanced by social media which constantly promotes an idealistic image, in addition social media also causes a constant comparison against other girls. However, it is debatable whether or not social media can be solely blamed despite being a factor. Social media is extremely time consuming with nearly one third of children spending at least four hours on these apps. Those who did have a mental health problem were two to three times less likely to spend at least 4 hours on social media which shows it does have a negative impact. The ways it appears to have negative impact is by the number of likes, comparison and cyber-bullying as well. Despite this social media cannot be blamed as the only culprit. As sometimes social media can be used to support an individual who is suffering from a mental illness.

Affected populations & support frameworks

These factors are not only specific to females but males as well, especially the younger population, as 1 in 9 children aged between 5-15 are reported to have a disorder. This figure has been rising over the years as it now stands at 11.2% in comparison to 9.7% in 1999. Figures are constantly rising but not all young people are receiving the help and support they need. This is shown by how nearly a third of young individuals who were referred to community services got turned away. Even those who received help had to wait an alarming average time period of 2 months. 32% were waiting for treatment at the end of the year and 15% had to wait over 6 weeks to even be seen. This needs to change, young, at risk and vulnerable children should not have to wait these time periods to receive treatment or to be seen. 

Management of Arthritis using Biosimilar Molecules – an NHS perspective

Arthritis

Arthritis is an illness which affects numerous people and it results in the inflammation of the joints. It can affect one or multiple joints. There are several different forms of arthritis. Approximately 350 million people have Arthritis worldwide, with a total of 10 million of these people are living in the United Kingdom. This illness is treated by the use of a number of different drugs including a drug called Adalimumab. A protein called tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is produced by the immune system naturally. However, in arthritis, the inflammation is caused by a protein called tumour necrosis factor (TNF) being overproduced.

 

Adalimumab 

Adalimumab is a monoclonal antibody that acts as a TNF blocker. It it works by binding to the TNF molecules. The action of binding then prevents the molecules of TNF attaching to the body’s healthy cells. This then reduces inflammation of the joints.

 

My name is Lucy Field and I am a research Scientist at Future Genetics. I have just read an article that focuses on the development of a new drug which treats Arthritis.

 

Biosimilars

The new drug is a biosimilar version of Adalimumab. The development of this new drug has a positives impact on the NHS and their budget. The reasoning for this is because Adalimumab was a medicine that Hospitals spend nearly £400 million a year on making it a relatively expensive medicine. The new biosimilar version will only cost a quarter of this amount allowing the NHS to save up to £300 million a year by 2021. This outstanding cut from the national annual medicines bill is the biggest NHS saving from a single drug negotiation.

 

NHS Cost Savings

The money from this saving could be used to employ 11,700 more community nurses or 19,800 more breast cancer treatments for patients which could potentially save the lives of thousands of women. This highlights the importance of biosimilar drugs and how a smarter approach to biosimilar drugs across Europe gives patients and taxpayers a better deal.

The saving is due to negotiations with 5 new drug companies who will manufacture bio-similar versions of the dug. These companies are Amgen, Biogen, Mylan/Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin, Sandoz, and AbbVie. This comes after the exclusive patent for Adalimumab (Humira) expired. From December onwards, the new biosimilar versions of the drug from these new companies should be available.

According to the NHS 9 out of 10 new patients should be started on the best value medicine 3 months after the launch of the biosimilar medicine.

Women and Neurological Diseases

Women and Neurological Diseases

Overview

Neurological diseases are among the leading causes of mortality and disabilities in the elderly population. Parkinsonism, strokes and Dementia come under the umbrella term of Neurological diseases. These neurological diseases have a detrimental effect on not only the patient but their family and caregivers. They are also known to show substantial co-occurrence, therefore an individual with Dementia has an increased risk of stroke.

The study 

My name is Lucy Field and I am research Scientist at Future Genetics. I have recently read an article which was published by University medical centre in Rotterdam which focuses on Neurological diseases. They conducted a study; the objective of this study was to ‘quantify the burden of common neurological disease in older adults in terms of lifetime risks such as co-occurrence and preventive potential. In this study the health of 12,102 people was monitored over a 26-year period in the years 1990 to 2016. The long duration of the study allows clear identification of co-occurrence of a disease and allows a large sample size giving more reliable data and conclusions

Study conclusion 

The  overall conclusion of this research study was that one in two women and one in three men will develop a Neurological disease in their lifetime. This shows it is more common in women than men, throughout the study data on women was compared with men. The study mainly focuses on age, as all of the individuals involved were above the age of 45. There was evidence to show women are more likely to develop a neurological disease. Not only as a female but a female scientist I believe it is important to raise awareness. Through this article I hope to educate more women about the risk of these common disease allowing us to further educate more women.

 Study Findings

In the study Dementia was seen to be the most common disease with a total of 1489 individual’s being diagnosed, then 1,285 suffered from a stroke. Ischemic strokes were more common at 64.7% and 9.8% had a hemorrhagic stroke. Parkinsonism was the least common neurological disease with 263 individuals’ being diagnosed. A lot of individual’s are only diagnosed with one of the diseases in their lifespan. However, at the age of 45 there was a substantial risk of being diagnosed with multiple diseases. A total of 438 individuals were diagnosed with multiple diseases. Following the trend of more women being affected by one neurological disease, more women were diagnosed with multiple diseases a total of 4% Versus 3% of men. Women were also almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with both stroke and dementia. These high figures show the importance of the need for better prevention strategies.

Neurological disease versus Other common diseases

Neurological diseases get under investigated in comparison to common diseases such as cancer and heart disease. This is because Cancer and Heart disease commonly affect middle aged individual and and neurological diseases normally have a later onset. According to this study, this should not be the case as the lifetime risk of developing Breast cancer in 1 in 8 compared to 1 in 2 developing a neurological disease. The same principle applies for heart disease which affects 1 in 4 people. Those who had been diagnosed with one of the neurological diseases had a higher prevalence of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm.

Importance of Preventative interventions

These findings clearly display the importance of preventative interventions which will delay the onset. It has been estimated that if the onset of the diseases is delayed by 1 to 3 years, the remaining risk of developing would be reduced by 20% in 45-year olds and 50% in those older than 85. This huge reduction in both age categories, this demonstrates the importance of the development of a treatment to delay the onset and to maintain a healthy brain. This is one of Future genetics aims.

Licher SDarweesh SKLWolters FJ, et al
Lifetime risk of common neurological diseases in the elderly population

Better Science through Better Data

Better Science through Better Data

Data

Data, to some, can be overwhelming to comprehend. With the prospect of data sharing and ensuring teams have the right people and support, data can lead to great changes and improvements in a number of different fields, across a wide scale of investigational areas.

#scidata18

My name is Sabrina and I am a Research Scientist at Future Genetics. On the 14th of November, Springer Nature held the ‘Better Science through Better Data’ event in London at the Natural History Museum. The event consisted of a series of thought-provoking lightning talks as well as an international line-up of keynote speakers. The main theme of the event was the role and impact data has and can have on the future of science and research.

Data Sharing

The advantages data sharing could have in the world of science are endless. Not only will that particular professional gain scientific credit amongst a huge audience, but they are also giving something back to the science community, as it could mean new approaches to problems, improvements upon identification of diseases (which in turn could improve the effectiveness of treatments).

It could also allow reporting and acknowledgement of novel bio markers and in some cases, adapting the data to accommodate an entirely different investigational study. Data can also be used to build on ideas and methods, as well as open doors to new collaborations and analysis.

Barriers

The question arises of how data sharing can affect the patients or subjects from whom data is acquired from. There is uncertainty around the privacy of patient information and the risk of data being traceable and identifiable. As a Scientist, patient confidentiality and privacy should be a primary concern, as part of Good Clinical and Good Ethical Practice.

Compromising patient privacy and trust is non-negotiable, regardless of the potential benefits data sharing may have. This is just one of the many considerations that must be taken into account before exposing data.

The Right People with the Right Skills

Presently, the requirements for sufficient data management are often unmet and various surveys have shown this is because of a lack of knowledge or support, rather than a lack of technology. Therefore, to tackle this problem, some teams have appointed a data steward at every facility of theirs, who can offer this support and assist the team in various ways, including; training, advice, tools and archiving. The Data Steward is more equipped at handling and managing data, whilst being realistic about making incremental changes which in turn will ensure requirements are met.

Conclusion 

The use of data is so widespread, ranging from education, to research, to guidance. So although it may seem bothersome, it is clear that Better Data could in fact lead to Better Science.

 

Future Genetics will be at the Lab Innovations Conference

Future Genetics will be at the Lab Innovations Conference, 2018

 

Future Genetics is committed to high quality and innovative genomics research.

Our Research Scientist, Lucy Field, will be attending the Lab Innovations 2018 Conference at the NEC this week (31 Oct). She looks forward to meeting you all and learning from all the exciting exhibitions which will be showcased.

 

Future Genetics will be looking for new and innovative technologies that can help us accelerate our research in genomics, medicine and patient healthcare.

Looking forward to the conference

 

 

NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – The Healthier You

NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – The Healthier You

Introduction 

Hi, my name is Penny, and I am a research scientist at Future Genetics.

I attended the annual National Association of Primary Care Conference that was held at the NEC earlier this month.

It was a great event which encouraged discussion and debate around management of patients in a primary care setting.

In this article, I am going to summarise one of the presentations that particularly stood out for me. I think its message is well-aligned to the ethos and principle of Future Genetics, and this is EMPOWERMENT. One of the ways for people and individuals to become empowered is to understand the drivers and risk factors associated with diseases such as Diabetes.

Dr Chirag Bakhai gave a presentation titled NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme – The Healthier You. This succulently highlighted the alarming statistics associated with disease.

In my article, I have summarised the key points, and hope this will EMPOWER the listener or reader to be proactive and take actions to avoid poor outcomes.

Diabetes – Background Information

Type 2 diabetes more likely develops in males, people over 40, certain ethnicities, those with high blood pressure and sedentary lifestyles. However, 80% of cases are linked to obesity. Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, amputations, heart disease, strokes and early death.

Prevalence of diabetes has doubled in the last 10 years, costing the NHS billions. The Healthier You programme was created to prevent diabetes development from prediabetes; a state of hyperglycaemia. Prediabetes implies inevitability of development; however, lifestyle intervention can slow or even halt the progression.

The Healthier You Programme 

The programme is available to most except children, pregnant women or diabetics. It is a free, 16 session treatment plan which takes 9-12 months to complete, it’s tailored to the individual involving psychological training to make lasting behaviour changes to increase levels of physical activities, improve nutrition and maintain a healthy weight.

It’s available throughout the whole of the UK and they’re on target to have 100k participants by 2020 as 54% of referrals attend the meetings. 45% are under 65, allowing for early assessment and intervention but more attend if they’re past working age. There are 44% male participants, a higher proportion than in commercial weight loss programmes and those who attend more than 60% sessions, lose on average 3.3kg, exceeding to predicted 2.5kg weight loss.

Limitations

The need for face-to-face interaction at meetings is a restriction for people with modern-day busy schedules and so digital meetings may be offered instead, but these have been found to be less effective. To broaden their client capacity, more funding is required, however the programme is predicted to save the NHS money in the long run.

The Battle Continues…

As beneficial as this programme is, more is required to tackle type 2 diabetes, by public health working with the food industry to minimise processed foods, refined carbs, excessive calories and portion sizes. Tackling obesity in schools will also significantly reduce the risk of prediabetes developing in the first place.

At Future Genetics, we are committed to trying to make a real difference to people and patients with respect to health outcomes. One of our principle research programmes is around diabetes and finding genetic markers that can meaningfully improve health outcomes for people.

Thank you or watching and for some of you, reading.

Pictured: Penny Codd (Future Genetics Research Scientist) at the NAPC Annual Conference 2018 

Management of the Consequences of Cancer and its Treatment in Primary Care

Management of the Consequences of Cancer and its Treatment in Primary Care

Introduction

Times are changing. Cancer is changing. The number of people surviving 10 years or over past their original cancer diagnosis is accelerating. However, the quality of life (QoL) of these patients/survivors is far from a life of ease; as it is during this time that patients can face the unfortunate consequences of their cancer and their treatment. These consequences are often overlooked and can have a significantly negative impact on the well-being of the individual.

My name is Sabrina, and I am a Research Scientist at Future Genetics.

Last week, I attended one of the key NHS Primary Care conferences, which was held at the National Exhibition Center.

I attended several interesting talks, and there was one that stood out in particular.

NAPC Annual Conference 2018 

Dr Anthony Cunliffe, a Macmillan National Lead GP Adviser, spoke at the NAPC Annual Conference 2018  last week regarding the ‘Management of the consequences of cancer and its treatment in Primary Care’. He began by telling the audience about his late mother’s cancer journey; including the screening, diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and follow up treatment. Although his mother managed to beat both breast and bowel cancer, the life she led following her treatment was extremely poor.She was offered limited support and the GP was not fully aware of how the cancer, despite being gone, was still affecting her life.

Quality of Life

Raising awareness of the importance and the extent of these consequences of cancer can have a great impact on the understanding and care provided by primary care teams and consequently the QoL of cancer patients/survivors.

For this to happen, primary care teams must consider not only the physical needs of the patient, such as managing unwanted side effects, co-existing conditions or risk of recurrence. They should also consider the practical and personal needs, such as; mobility, cooking and personal care.

Presently, these needs are often unmet due to several reasons, for example; lack of clear communication between primary care and patients or limited knowledge or confidence in identifying and managing the consequences of cancer/treatment.

Time for change

Patients deserve to have a decent QoL and just as with any other condition, a better understanding is a step forward towards more effective care.

At Future Genetics we are focusing on a number of key disease areas, including cancer, given the devastating consequences of these illnesses.

Pictured: Sabrina Bolia (Future Genetics Research Scientist) at the NAPC Annual Conference 2018

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Genomics and Clinical Diagnostics in Healthcare

The Genomics Revolution has begun – lets be sure that you’re not left behind.

A key presentation on genomics will be delivered by the CEO of Future Genetics who will be attending the Oxford Global event being held at Covent Garden, London.

Dr Kamran is an invited speaker on the topic of “Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Genomics And Clinical Diagnostics In Healthcare“.

He was happy to accept the invitation because this is an area of medicine that he is passionate about. During the presentation he will talk about the opportunity that the NHS has in revolutionising the management and treatment of patients with the promise of NGS based personalised care and medicine.

Areas covered in the presentation will highlight some of the current challenges related to tackling breast cancer, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, dementia,  Alzheimers disease, and the opportunity that NGS presents.

Dr Kamran will be placing particular emphasis on the importance of the NHS commitment to reducing healthcare inequalities.

He will highlight why it is imperative that the general public become more aware of the absolute need for all communities and ethnicities in the UK to get involved in this emerging genomics revolution.

Lets share the message that the NHS belongs to and is there to serve all of us. In order for that to be a reality then we all need to step-up and contribute.

The details of the presentation are listed below:

Tuesday 22 May.  13.30-14.00. Conference Room 1 (Cornwall Suite).

The session will be chaired by Dr Axel Vater who is the Chief Scientific Officer of Aptarion Biotech (Germany).

Title:

NGS, Genomics And Clinical Diagnostics In Healthcare

Content:
  • The Importance of Beginning with the End in mind
  • Gaining buy-in from the Principle Stakeholder: challenges around consent and data sharing
  • The promise of NGS and the (significant) barriers associated to that delivery
  • Delivering the Promise

Future Genetics hopes that some of the readers can attend the conference, but appreciate that this is not going to be possible for everyone.

 

Dr Kamran has been invited to Chair a panel discussion at the event titled “Accelerating the Genomics Revolution“:

The panel discussion will not be recorded unfortunately due to copyright issues, but there will be a summary report of the discussion made available at this website.

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Biotech-Investment-Showcase-Full-Agenda.pdf

For those interested in attending in person, the event is being held in Covent Garden London:

De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

http://www.thedelegatewranglers.com/de-vere-grand-connaught-rooms/

61-65 Great Queen St
London
WC2B 5DA
Tel: 020 7405 7811
www.phcompany.com/de-vere/grand-connaught-rooms 

The event has been organised by Oxford Global. 

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/

 

In addition to Dr Kamran, speakers from leading companies have been invited to speak at this event.

 

The two-day conference consists of an educational programme that includes over 60 presentations, postulating topics on scientific, technological and investment growth in the industry. The  2018 Biotech Investment showcase is the UK and Europe’s most focused and leading-edge funding, investment and partnering forum in the biotech sector, hosting over 200 attendees. 

Please view the full agenda by clicking the below link:

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Biotech-Investment-Showcase-Full-Agenda.pdf

*Post-event update: The session was recorded by our Junior Intern Asad Kamran, so please revisit the site to watch.

Asad our Junior Intern - reviewing slides before presentation

Image 1 of 3

 

The event is being sponsored by:

 

For more Information about the event contact Oxford Global at: www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com

 

Accelerating the Genomics Revolution

The focus on genomics continues:

London is hosting another key conference exploring the opportunities and advances in the biotechnology sector. The event has been organised by Oxford Global – and Future Genetics have been asked to chair the main-stage panel discussion on genomics.

Key speakers from leading companies have been invited to speak at this event.

The CEO and Medical Director of Future Genetics has been invited to chair an specialist panel discussion titled “Accelerating the Genomics Revolution“.

Dr Kamran will moderate this highly anticipated session, where the panel will comprise of Ms Sowmiya Moorthie who is a Senior Policy Analyst at the PHG Foundation,  Tommi Lehtonen (CEO, Blueprint Genetics) and Mr Ali Mortazavi (CEO, Silence Therapeutics).

The areas covered in the discussion will be:

  • Adoption of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
  • Moving to single-cell biology
  • Clinical Diagnostics
  • cell-free DNA
  • Microfluidics

 

The event is being held in Covent Garden London:

De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms

grand-connaught-rooms

61-65 Great Queen St
London
WC2B 5DA
Tel: 020 7405 7811
www.phcompany.com/de-vere/grand-connaught-rooms 

The two-day conference consists of an educational programme that includes over 60 presentations, postulating topics on scientific, technological and investment growth in the industry.The  2018 Biotech Investment showcase is the UK and Europe’s most focused and leading-edge funding, investment and partnering forum in the biotech sector, hosting over 200 attendees. 

Please view the full agenda by clicking the below link:

https://www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Biotech-Investment-Showcase-Full-Agenda.pdf

Leading Venture Capitalists, funds, investors, hedge funds, emerging successful biotech spinoffs, early stage biotech discovery and clinical companies and KOLs in the sector will be attending this one of a kind showcase event on the 22nd & 23rd May 2018 in London.

It is anticipated that the event will help to identify the key technological and scientific investment areas.

The event is being sponsored by:

 

For more Information about the event contact Oxford Globat at: www.biotechinvestment-showcase.com

 

Collaborating to improve NHS patient outcomes

Collaborate and Thrive – how to improve NHS patient outcomes by delivering better medical technologies 

The Challenge 

The NHS continues to take great strides in making a significant contribution to improving the wellness of a population that (at the same time) continues to increase in size and complexity. This introduces challenges to both public and private sector organisations and systems to meet the patient needs and demands. 

 

The challenges on the healthcare system can be addressed in a number of ways. This includes strategies that further improve on preventing disease, with a focus on bridging differences in health inequalities. Another key approach is the need to understand gaps and differences in the care, and quality of different patient populations.

The Opportunity

A key strategy that could add to the armamentarium of healthcare professionals would be to utilise new technology that could facilitate improving health outcomes in the UK population in the form of earlier diagnosis, better health as we age, and improved recovery from illnesses and medical interventions.

 

Clinical technologies need to be developed and appropriately tested for their effectiveness in delivering on their given promise in a timely manner. The process of research and development (R&D) can be a long one. As a matter of fact the vast majority of R&D companies striving to develop new medical technologies are indeed Small to Medium sized companies.

 

Transitioning from concept, research programmes, and testing can be daunting and a challenge. This has been realised by the UK Government and there has been significant investment to support Research companies to deliver on new and exciting medical technology that can lead to better healthcare for all.

 

Representing Future Genetics, I attended the launch event of the Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC). It was chaired by the former UK Home Secretary for the Labour Government, Jacqui Smith, who is now the Chair of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

  The Right Honourable Jacqui Smith (Chair University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust) and Dr Mohammed Kamran (CEO, Future Genetics)

Pictured: The Right Honourable Jacqui Smith (Chair University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust) and Dr Mohammed Kamran (CEO, Future Genetics)

 

There is a need to have an infrastructure in place to accelerate and bring to market technologies. The function of this newly purpose-built MD-TEC site is to help expedite the transition of clinically innovative technologies from the research bench through to medical utility. This would facilitate streamlining delivery for the benefit of NHS patients and the wider UK population.

 

Many research organisations do not have the full gamut of resources to deliver on goals. Therefore, multi-disciplinary collaboration by Research companies with NHS sites and other research and specialist organisations such as MD-TEC is critical.

 

The MD-TEC site provides state-of-the art facilities for Research companies. During a tour of the facility I was able to see the “pre-patient” set-up that allowed for testing of novel medical technologies and devices. This included a functioning operating theatre, A&E, and ICU facility to test technologies and devices on highly sophisticated “dummies”. Thus any unnecessary human trials or studies can be avoided. In addition, this would also facilitate the design of even better downstream clinical studies.

 

Future Genetics improving NHS patient outcomes

A functioning surgical theatre with a responsive dummy to test the robustness of medical technologies before the start of any human studies (NHS patient outcomes).

 

Future Genetics

Hospital bed with monitoring technologies to help validate novel medical devices and technologies (NHS patient outcomes)

The Solution

The concerted effort by government bodies; organisations such as Innovate UK, SBRI, and the NIHR i4i; charities including Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation; different Academic Science Networks across the country (with the WMAHSN being the closest to me); and different NHS Trusts to support innovative research and inter-disciplinary collaboration can only be good for NHS patients and the wider UK population.

 

Dr Mohammed Kamran

Future Genetics.