The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has announced funding for its Clinical Research Facilities (CRF). The NIHR Oxford Clinical Research Facility is one of five new facilities and will be hosted by Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust. The Oxford Health Clinical Research Facility was also awarded funding.
CRFs support the delivery of early translational and experimental medicine research, from studies testing new treatments in patients for the very first time (first-in-human trials) through to early safety and efficacy trials (Phase II trials). They provide dedicated purpose-built facilities and expertise for the delivery of high-intensity studies funded by the NIHR, charities, the life sciences industry and other organisations.
The Oxford Experimental Medicine Clinical Research Facility (EMCRF) based at the Churchill Hospital, will act as the hub of the Oxford CRF. It provides a resource for early phase, experimental research across the University of Oxford's Medical Sciences Division. The EMCRF is central to the clinical translational strategy of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), providing service to all specialities in the BRC Themes.
Professor Duncan Richards, Director of the NIHR Oxford CRF and the EMCRF, commented: "This is a welcome opportunity to become part of the NIHR CRF Network. It represents an important new resource to support clinical translation across the University's Medical Sciences Division.
"The new facilities and collaboration with other capabilities in Oxford enhances our ability to deliver a wider range of early phase studies for the benefit of patients. Training and developing a new generation of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in early phase experimental medicine trials is also core to our mission and we welcome NIHR's support for this."
Professor Helen McShane, Director of the NIHR Oxford BRC, said: "This announcement is very welcome, as it will allow Oxford to expand the early phase clinical trials we conduct – much of it with Oxford BRC funding – that can be translated into tangible life-changing benefits for NHS patients. We also see it as a great opportunity to develop the skills and experience of young researchers in carrying out early phase experimental medicine trials."