Scottish health minister launches major new clinical trials project to boost business and health

April 15, 2005

Andy Kerr MSP, Minister For Health and Community Care is set to launch Glasgow Biomedicine, a groundbreaking initiative set to boost health and business in Scotland on 19 April 2005.

The joint NHS Greater Glasgow and University of Glasgow project 'Glasgow Biomedicine' is part of Medicine in Glasgow, a unique collaboration aiming to develop and promote Glasgow as an international centre of medical excellence.

The Glasgow Biomedicine project, which is supported by Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, is set to boost research and facilitate clinical trials in the city. It will attract commercial business to Glasgow and create a one-stop-shop for clinical expertise.

The trials are set to help sufferers of common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, infectious diseases and neurological problems. The clinical trials organisation will coordinate these activities across the city, helping to deliver new treatments swiftly from laboratory bench to patient bedside.

Glasgow is set to become a world-class centre for drug development and cutting edge clinical research. The initiative will not only give the people of Glasgow access to revolutionary treatments for many diseases it will also attract large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and bring a number of highly skilled jobs to Scotland.

There are already 100's of trials going on in the city and the project is set to expand further on these innovative developments.

Health Minister, Andy Kerr said: "I'm delighted to attend the launch of Glasgow Biomedicine to promote the excellent standard of clinical trial work in Scotland. An expansion of our clinical trials in Scotland will not only help improve the health of our population but will also enhance the economic standing of our country. It is great to see academics, the NHS and industry working together to benefit the nation."

"I am pleased to announce an additional £12.8m to NHS research and development budgets over the next two years to support and enhance its capacity to conduct clinical trials. This will provide the infrastructure for a major expansion of clinical research in Scotland. It will allow for vital research into illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Patients will benefit directly, both from their increased participation in research projects and more generally from the enhanced clinical expertise that will be gained through that work."

Dr. Allan Gaw, Director of Clinical Trials Unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: "Although Glasgow has a long track record of successfully running clinical trials, our capability is currently sometimes fragmented. Glasgow Biomedicine will help to improve the health of the city and develop new drugs to advance health internationally."

Commercial and non-commercial trials are essential for medical practice to be taken forward and for new drugs to be developed. Volunteers who take part in such clinical trials usually feel they have made a major contribution. Participants are always given advice on their condition and are given a real chance to tackle their illness in new ways.

The University's outstanding research base in medicine ensures that the city attracts the best clinicians and biomedical scientists. Research not only unravels the root causes of diseases, but also ensures that the outputs of research are translated into effective treatments and patient care.

University of Glasgow

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