£100 million is being pumped into fully mapping the DNA of patients with cancer and rare diseases.
About 100,000 patients could benefit from what the Government says will “revolutionise the fight against cancer, rare diseases and infectious diseases”.
It is understood that much of the research and testing, which will bring genetic sequencing to a mainstream health service for the first time, will be carried out at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute (CRI) at Addenbrooke’s. CRI has already played a major role in research into DNA mapping.
The project, funded by existing NHS budgets, will run over the next three to five years to develop new tests and better care that could save thousands of lives.
Prime Minister David Cameron, pictured, said he wanted to “push the boundaries”.
He added: “This new plan will mean we are the first country in the world to use DNA codes in the mainstream of the health service.
“By unlocking the power of DNA data, the NHS will lead the global race for better tests, better drugs and above all better care.
“We are turning an important scientific breakthrough into a potentially life-saving reality for NHS patients across the country.”
The Government also announced £100 million of new science funding allocated in the Autumn Statement would go to life sciences.