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Leicester Biomedical Research Centre £11m funding

As a result of the last round of funding, Leicester doctors and scientists developed a new drug which could dramatically lessen the severity of asthma. This drug is now in preparation for licensing.

The funding will see the continuation of research into respiratory, cardiovascular and lifestyle studies across Leicester’s hospitals under the newly-named Leicester Biomedical Research Centre.

Mental health, dementia and antimicrobial resistance will be among the research projects supported by a record £816 million investment in NHS research.

Leading NHS clinicians and top universities will benefit from new world class facilities and support services built by the five-year funding package – the largest ever investment into health research.

Twenty NHS and University partnerships across England have each been awarded funding, through the National Institute for Health Research, boosting growth in cities across the country.

Each of the twenty Biomedical Research Centres will host the development of new, ground-breaking treatments, diagnostics, prevention and care for patients in a wide range of diseases like cancer and dementia.

Mental health research will see funding increase to nearly £70 million, dementia to over £45 million, deafness and hearing problems will receive over £15 million and antimicrobial resistance research rises to around £45 million.

The UK is already a world leader in pioneering medical breakthroughs and this record investment will ensure this strong tradition continues. It is estimated that for every £1 the Department of Health invests, hospitals/universities will generate £6 – from public funders of research, charities and industry partners – a boost for the economy.

Previous rounds of funding have led to medical breakthroughs including:

– Scientists genetically engineer patients’ own cells to attack cancer
– World first use of gene-edited immune cells to treat ‘incurable’ leukemia
– Clinical trials of new T-cell treatment for cancer
– MRI brain scans to detect early Parkinson’s
– Detection of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
– Diagnosing Barrett’s oesophagus in primary care
– Multi-gene DNA sequencing which can help predict cancer patients’ responses to treatment was launched in the NHS
– New immunotherapy trial to test cancer vaccine

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “The UK has so often led the world in health research – from the invention of the smallpox vaccine to the discovery of penicillin and the development of DNA sequencing. Today, we are making sure the UK stays ahead of the game by laying the foundations for a new age of personalised medicine.
“We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care.”

Funding was awarded to hospital/university partnerships across the country; including Birmingham, Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford, Newcastle and London for treatments including; antimicrobial resistance, diabetes and cancer.

Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “The future of NHS care depends on the science we do now. This new funding will enable clinical researchers to keep pushing for medical breakthroughs. The NIHR Biomedical Research Centres announced today offer huge potential benefits for patients across the country.”

John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “We are delighted that we have been selected as one of the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centres. This reflects our strong track record in research and our effectiveness in translating that research into clinical practice, particularly in the fields of cardiovascular, respiratory and lifestyle research. We worked in partnership with the University of Leicester and Loughborough University to produce our bid and we are confident that this partnership will continue to flourish in the future. I am very grateful to the leadership and staff in our existing Biomedical Research Units for all their hard work in gaining this well-deserved recognition.”

To find out more, please go to the Leicester Hospitals website.

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