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Health moonshots should copy 100,000 Genomes model, MPs say

The 100,000 Genomes Project has made the UK a leader in genomics and its model should inform the design of future high-risk “moonshot” programmes in the life sciences, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has said.

The project is being run by Genomics England and will sequence 100,000 genomes from about 70,000 people with rare diseases and their relatives. The science and technology committee, which has carried out an inquiry into genomics and genome editing in the NHS, concluded on 20 April that the genomics project could be a model for the proposed Health Advanced Research Programme.

The HARP would fund large research infrastructure projects and high-risk “moonshot” initiatives, and was the main recommendation of a life-sciences industrial strategy review led by John Bell, professor of medicine at the University of Oxford. HARP projects could be mirrored on the structure of the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said Bell.

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