UK and Japan join forces for degenerative diseases treatment

January 28, 2019

Patients with degenerative diseases require lengthy care. Thanks to new technologies and treatment modalities, patients are provided some degree of independence and relief.

Medical researchers from the UK and Japan are working together on advancing research primarily aimed at developing treatments for chronic degenerative and incurable diseases.The researchers will focus on useful insights into critical regenerative processes in human health. They hope to translate the findings into tools and technologies for treating patients. This alliance between the UK and Japan is one of the first of its kind, and seeks to assist primary care patients as much as possible.

Their field of research includes treatments for diabetes and heart disease, known to affect many people in Asia and globally. In addition, the project is expected to yield new medicines for cancer and to repair damage caused by degenerative conditions such as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary has noted that even as the UK is leading the way in life sciences, genomics and artificial intelligence and has a globally-advanced health system, a partnership with Japan is crucial for future developments in treatments, part of the long-term plan for the NHS. The NHS is a leading health advisory for the UK.

Hancock further said that the UK and Japan must collaborate to tackle emerging challenges in healthcare. This includes the ageing population – both the UK and Japan have an increasingly aging society. The current focus is on increasing the life expectancy of the elderly, in line with the UK’s modern Industrial Strategy’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge. They are finding ways to harness the power of technology to revolutionise care by early detection and prevention of diseases.

Under the collaboration, £10million will be allocated to a programme focused on regenerative medicine. The project is to be led by the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) in Japan. The UK government plans to give older people at least five extra healthy independent years of life by 2035, as said by UK Business Secretary Greg Clark. The joint effort sees businesses in the UK and Japan partner to develop a new generation of assisted-living products and services using artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

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