News articles

The new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) has opened for clinical studies and trials

5 June 2014

Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC)

The new clinical trials unit was established through a £20 million award from the Wolfson Foundation to support research into neurological diseases.

LWENC operates 24hours a day through the partnership between the UCL Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), UCLH at Queen Square.

LWENC Clinical Facility has been specifically designed to undertake experimental medicine studies and early phase clinical trials (including first-in-man studies) aiming at identifying potential disease modifying therapies in the field of Neurology and Neurodegeneration. These include Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and Prion disease.

It is very exciting to have reached this milestone. Our funding for the Centre reflects our commitment to supporting this vital area of science. There is a critical need to address the crisis of neurodegenerative disease facing an ageing population.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive, Wolfson Foundation

Location within the NHNN gives the LWENC unrivalled access to patients across age ranges, ethnicity and disease. The unit brings together the expertise of UCLH’s and UCL’s leading clinicians and scientists across a broad range of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases with renowned international collaborators and industry partners - the focus is on experimental medicine and early phase trials in patients and healthy volunteers.

We have exciting years ahead of us. Our mission is to provide world class clinical and governance expertise and infrastructure to expedite translational research and the early evaluation of novel treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. I, along with the rest of the LWENC team, am looking forward to this exciting venture at Queen Square.

Dr Vincenzo Libri, Head of the LWENC Clinical Facility

Strong working relationships are established between the LWENC and key service supports within UCLH and UCL, including the Joint Research Office, Pharmacy, Imaging and the Neuroscience Laboratories for blood and CSF biomarkers. Since it opened, the Centre has adopted more than 20 clinical trials in patients. 

Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC)

The Centre has three inpatient rooms and an infusion suite with three recliner chairs and has been designed to provide close monitoring in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

It also houses a consulting room and a laboratory for processing and storage of research samples. 

The Centre is staffed with an experienced medical and nursing team who are fully trained in research governance and regulatory affairs and can provide administrative support for developing protocols and completing regulatory documents and contracts. All members of staff are GCP trained and hold different levels of training in medical emergencies, including Advanced Life Support (ALS) as standard for doctors and Immediate Life Support (ILS) as standard for nurses.

Immediate access ensures that patient safety is at the core of running successful clinical trials with safe drug administration and highly efficient monitoring and management of emerging clinical abnormalities and/or adverse reactions.

Edwina Saunders, Senior Research Nurse

The LWENC is located on the Ground Floor of the Albany Wing at the NHNN, giving immediate access to ICU and a 24-hour emergency response team who can arrive at the Centre within two minutes of an emergency. This, coupled with the experienced and fully trained in-house clinical team, ensures the successful set up of safe drug administration, advanced sampling and highly efficient monitoring/management of emerging clinical abnormalities and/or adverse reactions to study drugs.

Contact Details for queries:

  • Manoj Maistry-Administrator: Manoj.maistry@uclh.nhs.uk 0203448431
  • Marivic Ricamara-Acting Lead Nurse: Marivic.ricamara@uclh.nhs.uk 07957479199
  • Edwina Saunders-Senior Research Nurse: Edwina.saunders@uclh.nhs.uk 07956727692

Further information

Wolfson foundation

LWENC website

UCL press release on LWENC launch

Page last modified on 14 may 14 15:12