The era of genomics and the possible $1000 genome offers hope to millions of patients with rare diseases, the director of Genetic Alliance UK says. 

Speaking at a +91 Europe and KPMG event on genomics, Alastair Kent urged healthcare stakeholders to translate research into treatments but to be careful of the hype around personalised medicines. 

“Genomics opens up the possibility to creating the right medicine for the right patient at the right time in the right dose and reducing serious adverse events. This creates hope and it’s very important for patients that we have hope otherwise their lives are robbed of meaning and aspiration. But we must keep on top of hype – sequencing the genome is one thing and that is different to understanding it.” 

Kent said it was important for patients to be one of the partners, bringing data, insights, experience and advocacy to the table. Likewise he said the argument now was to distinguish between quantity of life and quality of life. 

He added: “At some point we will all need to benefit from innovative interventions. Genomics is a key tool to help bring this about. But we must take into account all expectations. This isn’t beyond us if we have the collective will to address the issues.”