Clinical translation in UK Life Sciences

The UK is committed to making clinical study start-up more efficient, introducing the Health Research Authority to streamline approvals for clinical research and new performance metrics for patient recruitment. In future, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding for providers of NHS services undertaking clinical trials will be contingent on working to a benchmark of 70 days or less from receipt of a valid research application to recruitment of the first participant.

NHS Research Infrastructure Support

The UK spends circa £0.5bn annually on the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), research infrastructure, supporting experimental medicine research and clinical trials in the NHS.

The UK’s capabilities and strengths

Government and Industry Partners

Department of Health



NIHR Office For Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI)

NOCRI facilitates industry access to the UK’s clinical research infrastructure, from early-stage collaborative research through to contract clinical trials. NOCRI can help your business access world-leading science and clinical expertise, world-class facilities, and well-characterised and diverse patient cohorts drawn from the 60 million people who use the National Health Service in the UK. NOCRI provides a managed process for collaborative research, has developed model partnership and contracting agreements for industry, and has set up and administers two NIHR Translational Research Partnerships in Joint and Respiratory Inflammatory Diseases and a new Translational Research Collaboration for Dementia Research.

Success stories

Trials Acceleration Programme

The Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) led by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is designed to give haematological oncology patients in the UK accelerated and wider access to early stage trials. Working within the existing NIHR Cancer Clinical Research Network, TAP’s dedicated centralised management at the University of Birmingham minimises the ‘red tape’ to establish trials and deliver accelerated results via disseminated patient recruitment across 13 UK centres. Early results from Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd show a 50% reduction in set-up time and significant reduction in costs per patient. Importantly, for the first time ever in its Oncology Unit, Novartis UK managed to secure the first visit by the first patient enrolled in the trial ahead of all centres participating globally, a fact that is likely to have a positive impact

Key Facts

Over £100m being invested in 19 NIHR Clinical Research Facilities around UK to develop new treatments to benefit thousands of patients.

on future trial placement decisions. In its initial year of operation TAP has ratified nine new trials that would not otherwise have taken place in the UK including collaborations with eight pharmaceutical companies.

NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centre at Cambridge

A potential new therapy in Parkinson’s disease called ProSavin, developed by Oxford Biomedica (Oxford, UK), is being tested in an early stage international study with the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centre at Cambridge and the Henri Mondor Hospital in Paris.

For further information on the UK’s capabilities in clinical translation please read the new UK Life Science Prospectus which can be downloaded here.

Contact us

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) can provide further information in a range of areas such as market opportunities, local skills and expertise, industry clusters, universities, incentives and funding support. Contact the Invest in the UK team by completing an enquiry form here.

Sectors: Science
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