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UK Launches Clinical Research Facility

Published: Friday, May 16, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, May 16, 2014
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NIHR/Wellcome King’s facility officially opened on Friday 9th May, by Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies.

Jointly funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Wellcome Trust, the CRF is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, its NHS partners, King’s College Hospital, South London and Maudsley (SLaM), and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trusts, and the pharmaceutical industry to facilitate world leading research across physical and mental healthcare.

The CRF was designed specifically to support clinical trials in mental health and neurosciences, whilst also enabling pioneering research in specialist fields including haemato-oncology,cardiovascular medicine and diabetes.

Based at the Denmark Hill campus, the CRF is uniquely positioned to draw on research and treatment expertise across physical and mental healthcare. King’s College Hospital is one of London’s designated trauma centres and a world leader in the treatment of leukaemia and liver disease, whilst SLaM and the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s College London bring unparalleled expertise in mental health and neurosciences.

Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “This facility brings research into the heart of the NHS. We are realising our vision, set out ten years ago, about what can we achieve if we bring clinical and academic expertise together. Today celebrates partnerships. The CRF is a partnership between academia and the NHS, involving patients in research. It is also a partnership between funders: the NIHR and Wellcome. And it is a partnership between NHS trusts working together as part of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre. SLaM, the crown jewel of mental health in Britain, working with King’s College Hospital so that patients will benefit from being at an acute hospital. SLaM and the IoP are leaders in psychiatry research, and this facility will be key to tackling the disease burden in psychiatry.”

Professor Peter Goadsby, Director of the NIHR/Wellcome King’s CRF, said: “The CRF is a unique facility combining basic science and translational medicine. By bringing together our experimental medicine facility with our clinical trials unit under one roof, we can enable studies to move from bench to bedside, providing real prospects for improving patient care.”

The CRF includes:

• An Experimental Medicine Facility (EMF) including the latest neuro-imaging and EEG facilities, a virtual reality suite and an intensive care unit facility for patients with brain injury;
• The largest Cell Therapy Unit (CTU) in Europe in either academia or industry, with capacity to produce up to 1,000 therapies per year;
• A Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) providing a state of the art facility for commercially sponsored trials.

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