MRC - Talking patient data with parliamentarians
Friday, 30 September 2016 10:18
In 2005 the MRC worked with a number of other organisations to set up the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research (APPG) to provide a forum for parliamentarians to discuss medical research. So in July, scientists, research participants and representatives from the MRC and other research funders are venturing into Westminster to talk to parliamentarians about how vital patient data is to research.
The timing for these conversations couldn’t be better – in the previous week the Caldicott Review set out recommendations for balancing patient confidentiality with the benefits of sharing patient information. The MRC is supporting an independent taskforce that was launched in response to the review to improve awareness of how data can be used within the NHS. Improving trust in how our information is handled is a key aspect of this and one that the MRC's head of clinical ethics and data, Dr Jon Fistein, discussed in a previous MRC blog.
The APPG event showcased studies that have harnessed the vast potential of patient data to transform healthcare. For example there were representatives from the National Survey of Health and Development which celebrated its 70th birthday this year and has used health data from over 5000 people to reveal how factors like socioeconomic status are linked to disease risk and well-being.
MRC - Fighting cancer like an infection
Friday, 30 September 2016 10:03
Professors Irv Weissman and Ravi Majeti at Stanford University and Professor Paresh Vyas at the MRC Molecular Haematology Unit in Oxford, are working on an antibody from the Stanford investigators that enables the immune system to detect and kill cancer cells. They are now testing whether it’s safe and effective for use in people with blood cancer. Find out how they collaborated across the Atlantic to get public funding for a project that has led to a spin out with multiple backers and a promising clinical trial.
Revised DH contract will benefit researchers and patients
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 10:18
The Department of Health (DH) and the Health Research Authority (HRA) have been working together to review the standard DH contract for NIHR funded research. From 4th August 2016 research funded by an NIHR research programme has been able to receive payments for start-up in advance of ethical approval. This enables more rapid, efficient and streamlined set-up of research and quicker translation of research into patient benefit.
This change will enable the appointment of skilled research staff earlier in the project leading to better quality applications for HRA Approval, fewer protocol amendment applications early on in the project, and a quicker and more efficient start up process.
'Library' of nearly 50 de-prioritised pharma compounds opens to researchers
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 10:05
A collection of 47 deprioritised pharmaceutical compounds and up to £5million is being made available to academic researchers through the latest round of the MRC-Industry Asset Sharing Initiative. The collaboration, between the MRC and six global drug companies, is the largest of its kind in the world.
UK scientists can apply for MRC funding to use any of the compounds in medical research studies to investigate the underlying mechanics of disease, which may lead to the development of more effective treatments for a range of conditions.
Both clinical (those already tested in humans) and preclinical compounds feature in the extensive collection, which includes molecules developed initially for a wide range of diseases including for cancer, ADHD, narcolepsy and diabetes.
AstraZeneca, GSK, Janssen, Pfizer, Takeda and UCB have each offered up a number of their deprioritised molecules as part of the partnership, which was initially launched in 2014.
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