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UK government invests £175m to ‘supercharge’ clinical research

The £175m adds to the £200m in funding announced earlier this year to strengthen the national data infrastructure

London

The UK government has announced a £175m investment to ‘supercharge’ the UK’s clinical research system and further its position as a world leader in life sciences.

The UK-wide plan will enable innovative research to be carried out more quickly, help patients access treatments sooner, speed up diagnosis and help ‘bust the COVID-19 backlogs’.

The announcement aligns with the publication of a new three-year strategic plan to transform and recover clinical research delivery in the UK, which builds on the ‘successes and the lessons learnt’ from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in the plan is the pledge to ‘revolutionise how research is designed and delivered in the UK’ to drive inclusivity in clinical trials. Also included is the commitment to ‘streamline and strengthen the regulatory environment to ensure faster approval, set-up and delivery of studies’, as well as to increase investment in ‘digitally focused trials’.

The £175m adds to the £200m in funding announced earlier this year to strengthen the national data infrastructure and ‘cement the UK’s status as a global life sciences superpower’.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the strategy marks the second phase of the government’s efforts to improve clinical research and will build on work already done, including halving approval times for new clinical trials, as well as launching a professional accreditation scheme for clinical research practitioners to help double the size of the workforce.

Included in the plan is £150m of additional funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and £25m from other delivery partners in the UK Clinical Research Recovery, Resilience and Growth Programme.

The continued investment will allow clinical trials to take place more quickly with a strengthened workforce and improved technology, helping patients take part virtually. Benefits have already been seen from this digital approach, such as in the delivery of antiviral treatments to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said: "We are bolstering clinical research to improve healthcare for patients across the UK, by providing our world-leading experts with the tools needed to deliver cutting edge scientific developments, grow the workforce and harness digital innovations.

"As a global life sciences superpower, we have led the world on vaccines and antiviral treatments and today’s plan will ensure we continue to be at the forefront of clinical research to save lives and bust the COVID-19 backlog."

Article by
Emily Kimber

5th July 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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