Norfolk could reap benefits of £300 million DNA project to help find a cure for cancer and other rare diseases

PUBLISHED: 08:04 01 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:20 01 August 2014

George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences, unveils the plaque to open the new Centrum Building at the Norwich Research Park. Picture: Denise Bradley

George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences, unveils the plaque to open the new Centrum Building at the Norwich Research Park. Picture: Denise Bradley

copyright: Archant 2014

Better diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases and cancer could be created through a £300m project launched today – and Norfolk is perfectly placed to reap the benefits, life sciences minister George Freeman has claimed.

The four-year project will see scientists decode 100,000 patients personal DNA codes by 2017 in a bid to understand more about how disease works.

The Wellcome Trust has created a sequencing hub at its Genome Campus near Cambridge.

Mr Freeman, who is also MP for Mid-Norfolk, said: “This is also fantastic news for jobs in Norfolk, with centres of excellence like the Norwich Research Park and local companies like Anglia DNA both helping to find new cures for diseases and creating the job opportunities of the future, making our area the go-to centre for research and investment in medical genomics.

“As part of one of the premier life science hubs in the world in the Eastern region, Norfolk is perfectly placed to reap the benefits from this global life sciences revolution.

“As a Norfolk MP and the new Minister for Life Sciences, I believe this is a once-in-a-generation chance for our region.”

Federica Di Palma, Director Science at The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) on the Norwich Research Park, said: “This is an exceptional effort that will set us apart from the rest of the world for genomics research. With our unique NHS structure in place, I think it’s an extraordinary project for the UK. We look forward to playing a role and contributing to the cancer and rare disease genetic research from the Norwich Research Park.”

The Prime Minister has unveiled a new partnership between Genomics England and the company Illumina which will see it invest around £162 million into the work in England over four years.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “As our plan becomes a reality, I believe we will be able to transform how devastating diseases are diagnosed and treated in the NHS and across the world, while supporting our best scientists and life science businesses to discover the next wonder drug or breakthrough technology.”

NHS England has started the process of selecting the first NHS Genomics Medicine Centres. Successful centres will help to progress this ambitious project by inviting cancer and rare disease patients to take part to have their genome sequenced.

Participation in the project will be based on consent, and people’s data will be strictly protected through Genomics England’s secure data services.

Sir John Chisholm, Executive Chair of Genomics England said: “This is a real milestone in turning this ambitious project into what we always intended which is a world leading project capable of delivering immense benefit to current and future patients.”


  • Looks like my comment won't be allowed because I detail a cure for cancer that has been hidden by governments and big Pharma for 40 years, with assistance from the media.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • The US Government has known since 1974 that Cannabis oil cures Cancer, so too do Pharmaceutical Companies, yet they spend billions every year lobbying to keep Cannabis illegal because they make $Trillions off Cancer drugs and research. In '72 Richard Nixon wanted a larger budget for his war on drugs. He thought that if he proved Cannabis caused lung cancer like cigarettes do, he would get the support he needed so he gave the Medical College of Virginia 2 years to do a study on the effects of THC on the body. In '74 the study was completed, but it revealed that THC, when ingested in highly concentrated forms (such as eating Cannabis oil), will attack any mutated cells in your body while strengthening and rejuvenating the healthy cells. They found the PERFECT cure for Cancer. It worked fast, it worked well, it worked on many different forms of Cancer in ALL stages and it had ZERO harmful side effects. (Unlike Chemo which deteriorates your entire body and kills 1 in 5 patients. Not only that, but it dissolves ALL forms of tumours and can even combat super-bugs like MRSA.) This study was only revealed a few years ago thanks to dedicated medical and law professionals who filed Freedom of Information Requests. It's hard to believe but it's true, I know of two people in King’s Lynn who are living proof - Google 'Cannabis Cures Cancer' and you will see that there are thousands of published scientific studies, articles, books and documentaries on the subject - start with the film 'Run From The Cure'. The lies continue because of the backlash if the public found out that the Government has been lying for over 40 years, that MILLIONS of lives could have been saved and that the dying could grow the cure they need in their backyard.

    Report this comment

    Honest John

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Genetic causes are only one avenue for cancer to manifest itself. The release of some 2500 new chemical concoctions each year into the environment, the over eating of sugars, lactose products and highly acidic foods are another. Non genetic natural tumour destroying plant extracts from cannabis, ignored by all research charities for far too long, deserve to be looked at and developed, as natural products that is. That it is hard to patent a natural weed is par the course, so its potent tumour cell killing natural derivatives can't be patented. Hurray.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Larson that is very true, but at least there is vital research and various charities out there to offer support, like Macmillan, so at least people are not alone to deal with the effects of being Diagnosed with Cancer. If there is a hope a cure can be found then that can only be a good thing.

    Report this comment

    che bramley

    Friday, August 1, 2014

  • You wouldn't want to get a " diesease " have no chance.

    Report this comment


    Friday, August 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Commented

Latest from the EDP

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition