The Midlands delivers £90m of research to support the nation’s fight against COVID-19

Date posted: January 19, 2021
a gloved hand holding a petri dish containing pink material

Published 15 January 2021, a new report – Mobilising Research Excellence in the Midlands to Tackle COVID-19 – reveals that the Midlands has moved swiftly to apply the wealth of capability in our hospitals, universities and businesses to deliver £90m of research in support of regional, national and global efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The report, published by Midlands Innovation Health, Midlands Health Alliance and Medilink Midlands supported by the Midlands Engine, highlights that:

  • Experts in the Midlands are leading 81 new COVID-19 research programmes
  • The region is playing a crucial and integral role in the world-leading genome sequencing consortium which is identifying the recent new strains of COVID-19 in the UK and internationally
  • The Midlands has used its internationally leading research excellence and clinical trials infrastructure to recruit over 50,000 patients to COVID-19 clinical trials, driving the discovery of new treatments and scientific insights
  • The region has successfully bid for £45m of funding enabling the delivery of £90m of cutting-edge COVID-19- related research
  • The region was at the forefront of the early detection of the heightened risks of COVID-19 to the country’s black and ethnic minority population and of bringing this to clinical attention

The volume of research projects and clinical trials that the Midlands is not just involved in, but in many cases leading, is exceptional.

During the pandemic, the region’s outstanding clinical trials investigators and infrastructure have worked with national organisations to streamline processes in order to deliver complex and adaptive clinical trial designs, significant recruitment levels and high-quality execution at speeds that were previously thought to be impossible.

By combining this with the ability to integrate the expertise in the region with local infrastructure and community engagement, the region now boasts a world-class COVID-19 clinical trials environment.

Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine which has recently launched Midlands Engine Health, said:

The Midlands is delivering world-leading, life-changing clinical research in response to COVID-19. Working together across the region, the NHS, universities and industry are meeting the challenge, driving life-saving treatments for COVID-19 and improving outcomes.

Professor Ian Hall, Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and Co-Chair of the Midlands Health Alliance said:

Nationally, the major part played by Midlands’ centres, particularly in recruitment to clinical trials, has been important. Without recruitment to these trials we would not have identified the drugs which we now know can be used in the treatment of hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

Download a copy of this Press Release.
Download the Mobilising Research Excellence in the Midlands to Tackle COVID-19 Report.

For the latest on our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.

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