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Online tool to help develop personalised medicines

Posted March 1, 2016

University of Liverpool researchers have secured funding to develop an online tool that will help the future development of personalised medicines.

Personalised, or stratified medicine as it is also known, is a growing area of research which aims to tailor the treatment given to a patient according to one or more personal characteristics. These characteristics can be demographic such as age or gender, or biological such as a genetic or other biomarker.


A number of clinical trial designs have been proposed for testing a biomarker’s usefulness, including clinical trials which aim to test the effectiveness of a biomarker-guided approach to treatment.

PhD student Miranta Antoniou, supervised by Dr Ruwanthi Kolamunnage-Dona and Dr Andrea Jorgensen at the University, has conducted a comprehensive review of biomarker-guided adaptive trial designs proposed in the past decade and has developed an in-depth overview for researchers in this field.

Greater efficiency

As a result of the review,  the Medical Research Council’s Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research’s Stratified Medicine Working Group (MRC HTMR SMWG), co-led by Dr Jorgensen from the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine and Dr James Wason from the University of Cambridge, has secured funding from the MRC to develop an online tool for guidance on designing biomarker-guided randomised controlled trials (RCTs).

Dr Jorgensen, said: “The information gained from the review will provide the foundation for the development of a user-friendly online tool to assist those embarking on biomarker trials.

“Our aim is to develop a tool that will result in greater efficiency of trials and ultimately boost the development of personalised treatments in the future.”

The research paper entitled ‘Biomarker-Guided Adaptive Trial Designs in Phase II and Phase III: A Methodological Review’ can be found here.

Source: University of Liverpool

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