Chloe Shakesby

Flagship healthcare project secures £50k funding for NHS diagnostic trials

A ‘flagship’ science and healthcare project has announced that it has secured £50k of funding to develop new diagnostic tests.

The Early Diagnostics Institute (EDI) has received the £50k grant from the government’s Local Growth Fund, through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The organisation is aiming to create five early stage diagnostic blood tests, using machine learning techniques which will be trialled and rolled out across the NHS.

It is also applying for a £210m grant from the government’s ARIA, Grand Challenge and levelling up funds.

Once developed, EDI plans to sell the tests worldwide under the NHS brand, and in turn it expects to bring millions of pounds worth of revenue funding back into the NHS.

Will Dracup, CEO of EDI, commented: “I am convinced EDI can make a massive difference to healthcare, not just in the UK, but worldwide.

“Our region is home to many of the country’s leading medical research specialists and doctors and with this pool of expertise and talent on our doorstep it is fitting that EDI aims to become a jewel in the crown of the North East.

“EDI will be using state-of-the-art techniques called proteomics and genomics, both to find and to deliver the tests. All tests will use non-invasive blood samples.

“The combined strengths of studying both DNA and protein will enable optimal test development, giving both the sensitivity and the specificity needed for early detection and tracking of disease in blood samples.”

Andrew Moffat, chair of the investment board at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Health and life sciences is one of the four areas of strategic importance identified in the North East Strategic Economic Plan in recognition of its ability to grow the region’s economy and create more and better jobs.

“The Early Diagnostics Institute (EDI) will be an important addition to the existing world-class facilities on offer in the North East and help drive further investment in the region’s health and life sciences sector.”

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