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Congenica gets £2m to help tackle adverse drug reactions

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New software designed to reduce the number of adverse drug reactions is being developed by Congenica – thanks to a joint investment of £2million provided by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Legal & General.

Dr David Atkins, CEO of Congenica
Dr David Atkins, CEO of Congenica

Nearly half of older people in the UK take five or more medicines and, because not everyone reacts to drugs – particularly multiple drugs – in the same way, the mixture of medications can result in falls, cognitive impairment and, in extreme cases, death.

Funded under UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge, the Congenica software will harness the power of pharmacogenetics – how an individual’s genes influence their response to drugs – to improve the safety and effectiveness of drug treatment, particularly for people taking multiple medicines.

HAPPY (Healthy Ageing Pharmacogenetics and Polypharmacy) will assess the health and economic benefit of pharmacogenetic analysis in general practice for patients over 50 years of age taking multiple medicines. It will then use the results to create clinical decision software that alerts doctors to the risks of prescribing specific combinations of medicines for individuals, so they can look at alternative medications or doses, to reduce that risk.

As part of the Healthy Ageing Challenge, UKRI is providing a total of £29m in government grants, together with aligned co-investment from private investors, until 2024 for projects of up to £3 million in eligible costs.

George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge director at UKRI, said: “Congenica’s innovation aims to help to reduce avoidable adverse drug reactions directly responsible for over 700 deaths per year in the UK, with a world-wide potential to save many times that amount.”

Dr David Atkins, CEO at Congenica, said: “The promise of pharmacogenomics has been on the horizon for a number of years and it is incredibly exciting to be working with UK Research and Innovation and Legal and General to develop practical systems that can be used to deliver routine pharmacogenomic analysis.”

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