Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Sheffield facility awarded £7.9m to continue cutting edge medical research

A clinical research facility at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General hospitals in Sheffield has been awarded £7.9m in funding which will support the development and testing of new treatments for diseases, many of which currently have no cure.

The funding, announced by the National Institute for Health Research this week (28 February 2022), will go to the Sheffield NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and run in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

It is more than twice the amount of the £3.1m which was awarded in the previous round of funding in 2017.

It will enable researchers, clinicians and scientists from the NHS and the university to support early patient testing of a wide range of new treatments for devastating conditions such as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and Parkinson’s Disease, including novel therapies developed at the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre, as well as research into vaccines and other disease areas.

The CRF will also support studies involving highly innovative treatments pioneered at the new Sheffield Gene Therapy Innovation and Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) which is due to open at the University of Sheffield later in the year.

Professor Chris Newman, Director of the NIHR Sheffield CRF and Interim Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded £7.9m to enable us to continue world leading clinical research through our NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility. This success is testament to the hugely successful partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield which has already led to an increase in clinical research bringing important benefits for patients here in Sheffield and across the wider NHS.”

Sheffield is one of 28 CRFs across the country to have been awarded funding, which will expand the delivery of early phase clinical research in NHS hospitals across England.

CRFs support the delivery of early translational and experimental medicine research, from studies testing new treatments in patients for the very first time (first-in-human trials) through to early safety and efficacy trials (Phase IIa trials). They provide dedicated purpose-built facilities and expertise for the delivery of high-intensity studies.

They were a crucial component of the nation’s COVID-19 response, supporting the delivery of early phase experimental medicine studies and Urgent Public Health studies. In Sheffield, more than 3,000 people were recruited to Covid-19 research trials and the Sheffield CRF had a leading role in 45 Covid-19 studies, including more than 20 with urgent public health status. This work resulted in medicines being repurposed and adopted into NHS care to help patients and helped to map Covid within the UK and understand its longer term effects.

Read more about the 2022 CRF funding announcement via the NIHR website.