UK’s largest ever investment into ground-breaking health research

Posted by pt91 at Sep 14, 2016 09:35 AM |
University of Leicester, Leicester’s hospitals and Loughborough University receive £11m funding for Leicester Biomedical Research Centre

Issued by University of Leicester on 14 September 2016

Leicester’s hospitals and the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough are set to receive funding of £11m from the Government to make world-leading medical breakthroughs, as part of a record package of research funding announced today by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mental health, dementia and antimicrobial resistance will be among the research projects supported by an £816 million investment in NHS research.

Leading NHS clinicians and top universities will benefit from new world class facilities and support services built by the five-year funding package – the largest ever investment into health research.

Twenty NHS and University partnerships across England have each been awarded funding, through the National Institute for Health Research.

Each of the twenty Biomedical Research Centres will host the development of new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients in a wide range of diseases like cancer and dementia.

The UK is already a world leader in pioneering medical breakthroughs and this record investment will ensure this strong tradition continues. It is estimated that for every £1 the Department of Health invests, hospitals/universities will generate £6 – from public funders of research, charities and industry partners - a boost for the economy.

Previous rounds of funding have led to medical breakthroughs including:

  • Scientists genetically engineer patients’ own cells to attack cancer
  • World first use of gene-edited immune cells to treat ‘incurable’ leukemia
  • Clinical trials of new T-cell treatment for cancer
  • MRI brain scans to detect early Parkinson’s
  • Detection of the early signs of Alzheimer's disease
  • Diagnosing Barrett’s oesophagus in primary care
  • Multi-gene DNA sequencing which can help predict cancer patients' responses to treatment was launched in the NHS
  • New immunotherapy trial to test cancer vaccine.

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:

“The UK has so often led the world in health research – from the invention of the smallpox vaccine to the discovery of penicillin and the development of DNA sequencing. Today, we are making sure the UK stays ahead of the game by laying the foundations for a new age of personalised medicine.

“We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care.”

Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Chris Whitty, said:

“The future of NHS care depends on the science we do now. This new funding will enable clinical researchers to keep pushing for medical breakthroughs. The NIHR Biomedical Research Centres announced today offer huge potential benefits for patients across the country.”

The funding will see the continuation of research into respiratory, cardiovascular and lifestyle studies across Leicester’s hospitals and the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough under the newly-named Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.

John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Hospitals, said:

“We are delighted that we have been selected as one of the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centres. This reflects our strong track record in research and our effectiveness in translating that research into clinical practice, particularly in the fields of cardiovascular, respiratory and lifestyle research. We worked in partnership with the University of Leicester and Loughborough University to produce our bid and we are confident that this partnership will continue to flourish in the future. I am very grateful to the leadership and staff in our existing Biomedical Research Units for all their hard work in gaining this well-deserved recognition.”

Professor Phil Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Medicine at the University of Leicester said:

“This award recognises the world-leading research carried out by academic researchers and clinicians at the University in cardiovascular, respiratory and lifestyle research. This ongoing investment in our research activity will enable us to extend our work in these areas and to build our collaborations with Leicester’s hospitals and Loughborough University. Research conducted as part of this Biomedical Research Centre will lead to improvements in patient care and clinical practice and will enhance the translation of medical research. It will enable the development of precision medicine, targeted to the needs of individual patients.”

Notes to Editors:

The last round of funding saw Leicester researchers carry out funding into:

Drug prevented exacerbations in patients with eosinophilic inflammation

The NIHR Leicester Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit has collaborated with pharmaceutical company GSK on the testing of a drug, which had previously been considered to be ineffective in the treatment of severe asthma. The Leicester team proposed that the drug had not been tested in the correct patient sub-group and, using a new stratified approach, a trial was conducted that demonstrated that the drug prevented exacerbations in patients with severe asthma. The drug is now in preparation for licensing and, once licensed, it is anticipated that this drug will be effective in the prevention of deaths and hospitalization due to this type of severe asthma.

Share this page: