Partnerships between industry, academia and the NHS are key to success of the all BRCs. In 2012 we are expanding and intensifying collaborations with key industry and NHS partners.
NIHR Translational Research Partnerships
The NIHR Translational Research Partnerships (TRPs) combine the UK’s leading academic and NHS centres into a single structure. Underpinned by world class NIHR clinical research infrastructure, the TRPs create a unique life sciences industry resource to drive collaborative translational research in defined therapeutic areas.
Pfizer-Cambridge Centre for Cardiovascular Genomics: In 2012, we established this centre in Cambridge, which is underpinned by support from Pfizer, BHF, and the MRC, with a contribution from the BRC. The objective of the Centre is to identify and validate potential therapeutic targets for cardiovascular disease through the focussed application of population science approaches.
NHS Blood Transfusion service (NHSBT) Centre for Population Health: Opened in 2012 this centre is underpinned by support from NHSBT, British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the NIHR. The objective of the centre is to conduct a series of population studies involving blood donors, with an immediate objective of improving NHSBT's core service and a longer term objective of creating resources useful for population biomedical research.
GSK Clinical Unit Cambridge
The (Clinical Unit Cambridge) CUC is a clinical research facility embedded in the heart of Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge since 1999. The Unit specialises in innovative Phase 1 and early Phase 2 studies across a broad range of therapeutic areas, exemplified by recent studies on atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cognitive impairment, and various aspects of inflammation.
The majority of the CUC's work is on asset-related decision-making studies for project teams as well as studies that do not immediately involve a specific asset but are intended to advance drug development in future, by validating new methodology or by improving understanding of major disorders.
The CUC leads on innovation in early clinical development, for example through the use of a new endpoint or lab assay, access to a stratified patient group, or development of a new phase 1 model. This is usually inaccessible by outsourcing to CROs that are operating a traditional, high volume, "feed and bleed" business model.
In addition to the state-of-the-art facilities of the CUC itself, the GSK team also maintains an extensive network of contacts in the Cambridge clinical and academic community. This means that the Unit can offer the benefits of externalising GSK R&D projects, by engaging local academic talent, while maintaining high standards of regulatory compliance and operational efficiency. About half of the Unit's current portfolio involves experts at The University of Cambridge. One recent example of CUC-based academic-industrial partnership has been a series of projects commissioned by the Academic DPU to develop a new drug for over-eating and obesity. The University of Cambridge has world-class academic leadership in several therapeutic areas and the Clinical School is strategically committed to support closer working with GSK ' so this is an aspect of CUC activity where the team hopes to see more growth in future.