The Oxford Health Clinical Research Facility (OH CRF) has been awarded more than £4 million over the next five years by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The OH CRF is one of 28 facilities across England to benefit from nearly £161 million that has been awarded to expand early phase clinical research delivery in NHS hospitals.
Opened in 2011 and based at the Warneford Hospital, the Oxford Health CRF is hosted by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. It is the only dedicated mental health CRF supported by the NIHR and delivers patient orientated early phase experimental clinical research. During the pandemic the CRF rapidly adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, supporting the delivery of two major vaccine trials.
Professor Andrea Cipriani, Director of the Oxford OH CRF said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious funding by the NIHR, for a second time, which will enable us to continue to deliver innovative early phase clinical research over the next five years. It is crucial to have dedicated space and dedicated staff for mental health. We will work in close collaboration with the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and other NHS Trusts, as well as with our many industry partners to test and develop better treatments for our patients.”
Dr Nick Broughton, CEO Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust said:
“It is a great credit to the achievements of the Oxford Health CRF to receive this significant new funding from NIHR. Research is a key strategic priority for Oxford Health and we are proud to host the CRF and to support its delivery of early translational and experimental medicine research”
NIHR has increased its funding for CRFs by £49 million in this round of funding, as a signal of its aim to increase its work with the life sciences industry. These CRFs, which will run from 2022 to 2027, will also play a key role in realising the ambition in the vision for the future of UK clinical research delivery to bolster the delivery of innovative trials across all phases, all treatment types and all conditions.
Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care, said:
“NIHR’s CRFs scheme has been a key force in translational research across England, helping to position the nation as internationally competitive in early stage clinical research.
“This new funding, a 43% increase, will allow the CRFs to continue to drive forward innovation in experimental medicine and support translation of exciting discoveries into new treatments for patients.”
Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall, said:
“Clinical research has been vital in our fight against COVID-19 and in saving thousands of lives – whether through the rapid creation of vaccines or the identification of life-saving treatments like dexamethasone.
“Funding more CRFs across the country means we can continue to build on this innovation to transform our health service and ensure the NHS is able to deliver world-class care. “As we build back better from the pandemic, I am committed to ensuring the UK remains a world leader in diverse, ground-breaking research.”