Medical Research Booster
Byline: By Craig Thompson
A multi-million-pound research centre for people stricken by arthritis and diabetes was due to open in Newcastle today.
The pounds 4.5m Clinical Research Facility (CRF), the first of its kind in the region, hopes to find new treatments for a range of diseases.
Based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, the centre will use the latest technology to run clinical trials testing, among other things, a variety of new drugs on patients.
Its opening will push the region to the forefront of medical research, bringing together world-class researchers and clinicians under one roof.
The 16-bed centre, a joint venture between Newcastle University and the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, is being hailed as a major step for clinical research in the region.
It will also offer a "one-stop shop" for research teams wanting to test treatments for other health conditions, such as stroke and neuro-muscular disease.
Sir Miles Irving, chairman of the Newcastle Trust, said: "By providing a modern facility that's safe and well regulated, we'll provide the very best environment for patients to take part in clinical research and experience new treatments as they emerge."
Prof Gary Ford, director of the new centre, said: "The facility is particularly well placed to promote translational bench-to-bed research, taking the work and discoveries from the scientists' bench to understand how diseases evolve."
Prof Mark Walker, co-director of the centre, who also carried out research into diabetes in Newcastle University's School of Clinical Medical Sciences, also welcomed the centre. …