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One year on: Major success for Children’s Clinical Research Facility

The Wellcome Trust Children's Clinical Research Facility at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital has had overwhelming success since opening in November 2009, with the aim of testing new medicines in children and young adults to make sure that they are safe and effective.

The facility is the first of its kind in the North West and one of only a small number of dedicated paediatric research facilities across the UK. To mark the one year anniversary, a 1st birthday party was thrown this on November 17th 2010, for the children, families and researchers who have been involved in studies over the past year.

One clinical research study participant is 17 year-old Ambreen Yasin. When Ambreen was 15, her GP told her she was at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. She then went on to take part in a clinical trial looking at the effects of a drug called metformin in children and adolescents who had too much insulin in their bodies and were unable to properly regulate blood sugar.

The study aimed to find out whether treatment with metformin reduced a child's body mass index and improve the ability to regulate blood sugar.

Speaking of the study, Ambreen said: "I was a bit nervous at first and didn't really know what to expect, but the nurses were great and explained everything that would happen.

"I had to take a tablet up to three times a day for six months. I feel quite proud for taking part in something that hopefully will bring new information and could possibly change many lives. I discovered a whole new side to science and medicine and realised how important the trials were."

Dr Nicholas Webb, the facility's director, said: "When the new children's clinical research facility opened last year, we had high hopes for its success. The reality has far exceeded our expectations and we are delighted with the results. So much so that in order to cope with demand we have doubled our nursing team from five to ten. Our facility is testing medicines of the future, so that children and young adults can benefit from improved available treatment options.

"Ambreen has been fantastic for taking part in this study", Dr Webb added. "It is only through children and their families agreeing to take part in clinical research that we are able to continue our excellent work that will ultimately benefit many more children worldwide."

More information about the Wellcome Trust Children's Clinical Research Facility can be found online at www.childrenscrf.org.