Funding boost for joint UCL/UCLH initiative
6 July 2006
Funding from a consortium led by the Wellcome Trust will enable UCL and UCLH to launch a joint Clinical Research Facility (CRF), greatly enhancing London's clinical research capacity, it was announced yesterday.
The award provides funding for a new building for the CRF and support for a team of researchers, including nurses, pharmacists and statisticians. The CRF will help to translate successes in the laboratory into improvements in patient care across areas including cancer, heart disease and neurological conditions.
Professor David Goldblatt, UCL Institute of Child Health, who led the UCL/UCLH application said: "This grant will enable basic research to be translated into clinical research and thus potentially benefit patients more rapidly than would have been possible in the past, when the lack of dedicated clinical research facilities has made patient research more difficult to undertake.
"Specifically, the proposal hopes to accelerate clinical research into new drugs for cancer that target DNA interactions, new drugs that interfere with cholesterol metabolism and thus may prevent heart disease, and the study of new methods to treat severe headaches and new approaches to protect and restore nerve function in multiple sclerosis."
Raymond MacAlllister, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Head of Medicine at UCL, who will be director of the CRF, said: "This award provides funding to help with research into the treatment of diseases that are the main causes of death and disability in the UK. With a dedicated building for patient-centred research, it will be easier for patients to take part in research, and easier for clinical investigators to undertake these projects. The CRF also provides a resource to train the clinical investigators of the future."
The UCL/UCLH funding is part of a wider programme of support for experimental medicine in the UK and Ireland. The UK Clinical Research Collaboration is making investments totalling £84 million with the aim of bringing together laboratory and clinical patient-based research in order to answer important questions about health and disease.
Led by the Wellcome Trust, the group also includes the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Wolfson Foundation, the Medical Research Council, the health departments of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and the Health Research Board of Ireland.
Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust said: "Working with patients is essential to improve diagnosis and develop new treatments. Clinical Research Facilities provide an ideal environment for patient-based research. This important collaboration between the major UK funders of biomedical research will help make the UK a world leader in clinical research."