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Precision medicine can reduce the burden of cardiometabolic disease, but a strong ecosystem is needed to realise its potential

Precision medicine has great potential to reduce the burden of cardiometabolic disease worldwide. In a new White Paper, the Novo Nordisk Foundation provides a framework for translating precision medicine research into clinical practice.

Many common diseases are diagnosed based on symptoms, but only rarely are the underlying defects causing the disease a feature of the diagnosis. This can therefore lead to untimely and inaccurate characterisation of the disease and can predispose to errors in the subsequent medical decisions.

These challenges have precisely motivated the development of methods and processes intended to minimise error and improve accuracy in medical decision-making – a concept broadly referred to as precision medicine.

The White Paper, which was created in collaboration with world-leading experts in precision medicine, includes a framework that clarifies the terms and a unifying model that emulates clinical decision-making and links contemporary evidence-based medicine with precision and personalised medicine – the EPPI model. The White Paper also provides a roadmap that highlights the work needed to bridge the gap between basic research in precision medicine and clinical practice.

A White Paper with a vision

The Foundation’s recently launched 2030 Strategy especially emphasises disease prevention and novel therapeutics, fields in which precision medicine is likely to play a pivotal role. Two specific focal points of the strategy concern preventing cardiometabolic disease and understanding and managing cardiometabolic disease, which precision medicine, according to the White Paper, could contribute to.

Paul Franks, Scientific Director, Translational Medicine, Medical Science, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “Precision medicine has great potential to help to reduce the burden of cardiometabolic disease and minimise health inequities on a global scale. Nevertheless, what is and what is not precision medicine remains unclear to many people, hindering progress in this important domain. The White Paper includes a proposed framework and a vision for the future of precision medicine for diagnosing, preventing and treating complex cardiometabolic disease.”

“As suggested in the White Paper, we see a vital need for a well-functioning ecosystem for precision medicine to fulfil its potential,” Paul Franks adds. “This would comprise patients, clinicians, scientists, health educators, health economists, funders, innovators of medicines and technologies, regulators and policy-makers.”

In addition, the White Paper proposes that access to large-scale health databases containing high-quality, multidimensional, time-series data for people of diverse ethnicities will be required – and so will powerful computing infrastructure to analyse these data.

Finally, the White Paper suggests the need for new prospective studies involving people of diverse ethnicities designed to create high-value hypotheses and clinical trials designed to test these hypotheses.

For more information about precision medicine at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, please contact the Head of Translational Medicine, Paul Franks ([email protected]).

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

Established in Denmark in 1924, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is an enterprise foundation with philanthropic objectives. The vision of the Foundation is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet. The Foundation’s mission is to progress research and innovation in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic and infectious diseases as well as to advance knowledge and solutions to support a green transformation of society.

Further information

Marie-Louise Jersin
Senior Communications Partner
+45 3049 4957 [email protected]