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Warwick Medical School’s Clinical Trials Unit praised by two major funding agencies


The University of Warwick has been commended for its strong partnership with the NHS and the work it is doing to help fight cancer and improve treatments across the broad scope of health needs in the UK.

Over the last five years doctors and scientists at Warwick Medical School have been conducting clinical trials into a number of different ailments, addressing real issues of local, national and international importance.

And now two leading funding agencies have praised the vital work being done at Warwick Medical School during a recent visit to officially open the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) building.Warwick Medical School

Dr Glenn Wells, deputy director and head of research and funding programmes at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Simon Fourmy, director of grants at the Wolfson Foundation, both heaped praise on the facility at the official opening this week.

Since its inception in 2005 the Warwick CTU has grown rapidly from a staff of 12 people to the 76 now conducting trials at the facility today.

During a speech at the official opening Dr Wells said the UK was one of the world’s leaders in life sciences and for drug development and was delighted with the work being done at the CTU.

He said: “Research is central to the NHS and the desire to keep it that way is very strong. We have great support for all Warwick is doing.”

Simon Fourmy was also left impressed.

“I would like to congratulate the University on this fantastic facility. It is gratifying to see our funding represented in bricks and mortar.

“We hope and expect such a vital facility will enhance the University’s reputation on the world stage.”

Professor Sallie Lamb, director of the Clinical Trials Unit, said the facility had already seen more than 11,000 patients take part in trials and was hoping to see a broader range of trials taking place in the near future, to include swine flu, ventilation, dementia, serious injury and military injuries.

Professor Janet Dunn, head of cancer trials at the CTU, is currently working on a project called Persephone which will compare the efficacy, cost-effectiveness and safety of breast cancer patients taking Herceptin for a shorter amount of time.

She said: If we didn’t have this facility we couldn’t improve treatments and improve the NHS. It is exciting to have this vital facility in the region.”

Other trials currently taking place at the CTU include Beta Agonist Lung injury Trial (BALTI), which investigates whether inhaled salmeterol prior to surgery will reduce the incidence of acute lung injury, PARAMEDIC, which is evaluating the LUCAS mechanical chest compression device for use during resuscitation by paramedics, and the Managing Injuries of the Neck Trial (MINT) to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a stepped care approach for whiplash injuries.

The £5 million CTU building has been funded by the The Wolfson Foundation and by Advantage West Midlands through the Science City Research Alliance (SCRA) Translational Medicine Project.

The Translational Medicine Project is part of a larger investment by Advantage West Midlands in the research infrastructure of the West Midlands region, which unites the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick in a strategic research partnership, SCRA, formed under the Birmingham Science City initiative.

Notes to Editors

Birmingham Science City is a region-wide partnership of public sector, businesses and the research base, which is facilitating the use of science and technology to improve the quality of life and prosperity of the West Midlands. Funded by Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham City Council and the region’s Universities, Birmingham Science City’s aim is to create strategies to exploit centres of world-class scientific research, by developing relevant activities for sustainable economic and social benefit.

www.birminghamsciencecity.co.uk

An image is available at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/may2011/ctu_launch_55.jpg

Caption: Warwick Medical School's Professor Janet Dunn, Dr Glenn Wells, from the National Institute for Health Research, Simon Fourmy, director of grants at the Wolfson Foundation, and Professor Sallie Lamb, director of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) at the official launch of the Clinical Trials Unit

For more information contact Luke Hamer, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, on 02476 575601, or on 07824 541142. Alternatively email l.hamer@warwick.ac.uk.

 

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