The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has awarded £11.3 million to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to develop its Clinical Research Facility as part of a national drive to expand early phase clinical research delivery at NHS hospitals across England over the next five years.
The NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility (CRF), based in the Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental medicine at Hammersmith Hospital, with children’s research carried out at St Mary’s Hospital, provides dedicated space and expertise for early-stage clinical trials and other experimental medicine research projects and supports the translation of scientific advances into benefits for children and adults in north west London. Researchers from the NIHR Imperial BRC work closely with the CRF teams to ensurerapid translation of discovery science into clinic.
Over the past five years, the Clinical Research Facility has achieved significant impact from its research, including the rapid set up and delivery of four Covid-19 vaccine studies, recruiting over 800 volunteers and contributing to the global roll out of Covid-19 vaccines. The Imperial CRF has also delivered human respiratory challenge studies for flu and RSV as well as gene therapy trials for haemophilia and developed a new potential oncology treatment, micro-needle sensors for individualised dosing and future treatments for diabetes and obesity through hormone administration.
Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted that the quality and breadth of the research outcomes from our Clinical Research Facility have been recognised by the success of our bid. This is testament to our unwavering focus on initiating research that responds to current and emerging healthcare needs and we benefit greatly from our partnership working with Imperial College London, which allow us together to be at the forefront of global research and innovation achievements.
“This funding will allow us to widen access to clinical trials and encourage people from all backgrounds to seize such opportunities, which is at the heart of our belief that everyone should benefit from the medical breakthroughs we discover.”
Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said: “NIHR’s CRFs scheme has been a key force in translational research across England, helping to position the nation as internationally competitive in early stage clinical research.
“This new funding, a 43 per cent increase, will allow the CRFs to continue to drive forward innovation in experimental medicine and support translation of exciting discoveries into new treatments for patients.”