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Government invests a further £12.5m in Greater Manchester’s devolved health system to expand pioneering clinical research

nhsnihrIn a second boost for Manchester in as many months, a single city-wide bid has been awarded £12.5m by the Department of Health to fund the cutting-edge research space, highly trained staff and specialist equipment required to develop and deliver pioneering new treatments across three NHS sites in Greater Manchester.

This new award is a major achievement for Greater Manchester Devolution, demonstrating synergy that can only be achieved by bringing together clinical and research expertise from across health and academia to deliver patient-orientated commercial and academic clinical research studies.

It will enable expansion of existing clinical research capacity across Manchester and is hosted by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) in partnership with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust (The Christie), University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) and The University of Manchester.

Clinical Research Facilities (CRF) at CMFT, The Christie and UHSM, currently facilitate a total of 6500 visits per year from patients and healthy volunteers involved in research studies.  They provide 24-hour, seven-day inpatient and outpatient research services, including those for children and infants, with over 50 research beds and 20 outpatient consultation rooms across Greater Manchester.

Manchester's unique proposal will make research more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds across the city region, as well as expanding the volume and types of research undertaken.

In September, the Department of Health announced a £28.5m investment in Manchester under its Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) scheme, which recognises Manchester's international reputation and will drive forward research in the areas of musculoskeletal disease, hearing health, respiratory disease, dermatology and three cancer themes (prevention, radiotherapy and precision medicine).

This latest investment is provided under the NIHR Clinical Research Facility Scheme and will enable the Manchester CRFs to support researchers working in these areas and many others, representing major causes of premature death and disability for patients in Manchester and beyond.  The Manchester CRFs are supported by the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC).

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board said: "This reinforces Manchester's strong credentials in experimental medicine.  The CRFs will play a key role in working with patients, academic and commercial research partners to implement the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Devolution." Professor Nick Webb, Director of the Manchester CRF explained: "Our new One Manchester approach consolidates assets across our CRFs and will explore novel ways to drive efficiencies and maximise the impact of our research across Greater Manchester.

"We know that disease burden remains disproportionately high in Manchester and especially in socially disadvantaged groups.  Working with the BRC and NHS organisations across Manchester, our focus will be to increase accessibility of research for people of all ages and backgrounds right across the city region and beyond."

Sir Michael Deegan, Chief Executive at CMFT said: "Experimental medicine studies can be extremely complex and intensive, requiring specialist facilities. This investment will enable us to expand our world-leading research in this area and provide more patients in Manchester with the opportunity to trial new medicines."

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President & Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester, added: "We're delighted to receive this investment, which recognises the excellent research infrastructure we already have in Manchester and will help to further accelerate the translation of basic laboratory research through to treatments that benefit patients."

Minister for Public Health and Innovation Nicola Blackwood said: "Our investment in this area so far has led to a variety of breakthroughs, including the first new asthma treatment in a decade, and a promising treatment for peanut allergies in children, to name just two.

"We know that such ground breaking clinical research simply would not happen without the support of these Clinical Research Facilities.

"I'm delighted to announce this funding to support the skilled personnel and cutting-edge facilities we need to keep Manchester at the forefront of clinical research."


For further information please contact:

Emma Smith
Marketing and Industry Engagement Manager
0161 701 2679
0782 514 2219

Notes to editors

View a film about the Manchester CRF here: https://youtu.be/WUeNVveXAsM

Manchester has received £12.5m under the NIHR's Clinical Research Facility Scheme This funding and One Manchester approach will bring together three dedicated research facilities at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), The Christie NHS Foundation Trust (The Christie); and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM).

Manchester CRFs provide safe environments where research interventions and treatments can take place.  They provide 24 hour, seven-day in-patient and outpatient research services, including those for children and infants, with over 50 research beds, and over 20 outpatient consultation rooms across Greater Manchester.

Major research areas include cancer, dermatology, musculoskeletal conditions, respiratory disease and hearing loss:

  • NIHR/Wellcome Manchester CRF provides a purpose-built adult's facility at CMFT and a satellite specialist children's unit within Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
  • NIHR/Cancer Research UK Christie CRF fully integrates research and systemic anti-cancer therapies services and is used by all specialised cancer research teams.
  • NIHR South Manchester Respiratory and Allergy CRF has expertise in aspergillosis, asthma, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, chronic cough and allergy.

The One Manchester CRF approach coincides and is consistent with the Manchester Devolution strategy to increase the breadth, depth and velocity of health improvements, reduce health inequalities and further develop the substantial life science economy for the benefit of Greater Manchester and the nation. A major initiative of our unification is to enable access to cutting-edge medical innovation to the whole of the Greater Manchester population.

Manchester CRFs provide highly trained staff, space and specialist equipment for delivering clinical research.

  • Dedicated children's clinical research facility
  • Plethysmography and lung function equipments
  • BOD POD for estimating body fat
  • Dedicated ophthalmology clinics
  • State-of the-art imaging capabilities including ultrasound, 3T MR and PET/MR
  • Minor procedure
  • Bronchoscopy suites
  • Gait laboratory
  • Dedicated research pharmacy services, enabling us to deliver experimental treatments, including gene therapy using genetically modified class one and two products
  • Clinical trials aseptic units produce around 400 research treatments per month
  • Cutting edge laboratories and biobanks enable us to store and dispatch PK and PD samples and perform pharmacogenetic analysis with the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine

The NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility Funding Scheme

  • Manchester's funding is part of a £112million national investment into clinical research facilities across the country. The move will cement Britain's reputation as a world leader in ground breaking research.
  • 23 NHS organisations in total have been given a share of funding which will pay for specialist research nurses and technical staff, as well as providing cutting-edge facilities to support clinical research and trials.
  • The money, awarded by the National Institute for Health Research following a competitive application and assessment process, will be provided over the next five years.
  • The previous round of funding for clinical research facilities led to medical breakthroughs including:
    • Identifying an effective treatment for peanut allergies in children
    • Leading the first global multi-centre trial of the 'bionic eye' in retinitis pigmentosa (RP): the first ever study to combine artificial and natural vision in humans
    • Establishing an innovative and standardised approach to test a novel treatment for cystic fibrosis
    • Developing the first new therapeutic asthma treatment for a decade, reducing the severity and duration of life-threatening asthma attacks

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a leading provider of specialist healthcare services in Manchester, treating more than a million patients every year. Its seven specialist hospitals (Manchester Royal Infirmary, Saint Mary's Hospital, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, University Dental Hospital of Manchester, Trafford General and Altrincham Hospitals) and community services are home to hundreds of world class clinicians and academic staff committed to finding patients the best care and treatments.  For more information, go to www.cmft.nhs.uk and www.research.cmft.nhs.uk.

The Christie opened in 1901 and is now one of Europe's leading cancer centres and the largest single-site centre in Europe. It has one of the largest radiotherapy departments in the world as well as centres in Oldham and Salford.  It also houses the UK's largest brachytherapy service. The Christie delivers chemotherapy treatment through the largest chemotherapy unit in the UK, as well as via 10 other sites, a mobile chemotherapy unit and in patients' homes. The Christie is ranked as the 9th most technologically advanced cancer centre in the world and the top centre outside North America. The Christie's NIHR Clinical Research Facility is a large, high quality, dedicated clinical research environment where our patients can participate in complex and early phase clinical trials. Around 600 clinical trials may be taking place at any one time.

University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM):
UHSM is a major acute teaching hospital trust providing services for adults and children at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital and Community Services. We are recognised as a centre of clinical excellence in a number of specialist areas and provide district general hospital services and specialist tertiary services to our local community.

The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group, is the UK's largest single-site university with 38,600 students. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering, multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. The University is one of the country's major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of 'research power' (REF 2014), and has had no fewer than 25 Nobel laureates either work or study there. The University had an annual income of £1 billion in 2014/15. Visit www.manchester.ac.uk

Manchester Academic Health Science Centre:
The Department of Health accredited Manchester Academic Health Science Centre helps to improve the health of Greater Manchester's 2.8 million population through the integration of leading research, excellence in medical and healthcare education, and outstanding patient care.

Focusing on Precision Medicine, Experimental Medicine and Health Informatics enables the translation of research into practice at scale and pace as part of the drive to deliver better health outcomes and economic growth.

MAHSC is one of six academic health centres in England.  Its partners are The University of Manchester, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and University of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. For more information visit: www.mahsc.ac.uk

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government's strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).