New US medicine research drive mooted

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Washington - President Barack Obama will on Friday propose that the US government plow $215m into "precision medicine" research, a field proponents say can advance the treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes.

The funding will be used in part to collect genes, chemical, lifestyle and other data from one million volunteers.

Scientists believe that vast banks of information could then lead to better classification of diseases - based on molecular causes rather than symptoms - as well as tailored treatment that replaces a "one size fits all" approach.

The bulk of the money, $200m, would go to the national institutes of health and its affiliate the national cancer institute.

"Most medical treatments have been designed for the 'average patient,' the White House said in a statement.

"As a result... treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others.

Sustained effort

"Advances in precision medicine have already led to powerful new discoveries and several new treatments that are tailored to specific characteristics of individuals," it added.

"Translating initial successes to a larger scale will require a co-ordinated and sustained national effort."

The proposal is part of Obama's 2016 budget plan, which would first have to be approved by a hostile Republican-controlled Congress.

During his recent State of the Union address, Obama said he wanted "the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine."

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  health

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