Queen Mary University of London: Boosting the development and capacity of clinical trials in East London

Clinical trials are hailed as the ‘gold standard’ for determining what healthcare interventions work best for different medical problems and different people. Trials can involve testing new drugs, medical devices and other ways of improving healthcare treatments, such as lifestyle changes, as well as comparing different treatment options.

Getting the best possible outcomes from trials relies on an expert team in their design and analysis, ideally comprising statisticians, trial and data managers and experts, as well as IT experts.

Barts Health and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary have an excellent track record in trialling treatments and lifestyle interventions for a range of medical conditions through its existing clinical trials units (Barts CTU and Pragmatic CTU), and this investment aims to build on these strengths.

A recent example of a highly successful, well-staffed CTU in Oxford was the RECOVERY trial which rapidly produced the first reliable evidence in the world of a medicine to reduce deaths from COVID-19.

A secure future
The funding from Barts Charity will offer a secure future for trials research in East London through attracting additional funding and supporting innovative Public and Patient Involvement Engagement (PPIE). It will help the Barts CTU extend support and impact to other areas of rising importance in our local community, as well as nationally and globally. Importantly, it will help address health inequalities in the UK and a potential worsening in quality and length of life.

Our funding includes support for:

11 staff members to support the unit including: a health economist, three statisticians, programmers, a PPIE coordinator, a data scientist, a quality assurance manager and programme management and administration support.
establishing the Joint Research Management Office (JRMO) Preliminary Evidence Phase (PREP) trials support unit, which aims to provide expert advice and support for pilot, feasibility and early phase trials.
This investment in CTU infrastructure will provide significant support to the proposed new Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at the Royal London Hospital. Barts Charity are currently fundraising for this capital project as part of our Barts 900 campaign.