UCC research facility secures €11m to continue clinical trials

UCC research facility secures €11m to continue clinical trials

Prof. Joe Eustace, Consultant Nephrologist, Cork University Hospital, and Director, HRB Clinical Research Facility, Cork. Picture Denis Minihane.

A UCC-based healthcare research facility has secured over €11m in funding to continue conducting clinical trials in Cork.

Since its creation in 2010, the Clinical Research Facility UCC, located at the Mercy Hospital and Cork University Hospital, has paved the way for new medicines to treat cystic fibrosis, asthma, allergies, and other ailments.

Over the past five years, the facility has conducted over 154 clinical trials to improve healthcare and supported studies that have directly led to market authorisation and the licencing for 11 new drugs.

The €11.2m allocation will help the facility continue its research for the next five years and is being provided by the Health Research Board (HRB), University College Cork, and the South/Southwest Hospital Group.

“The renewed funding of the Clinical Research Facility UCC will allow us to continue to integrate the expertise and resources of the university and its affiliated hospitals in order to conduct impactful clinical trials across diverse disease areas, including in the treatment of Covid-19,” said the facility’s director, Prof Joe Eustace.

“One of our core goals over the next five years of funding will be to develop direct patient involvement at all levels in the planning and conduct of our research.”

The facility supports 70 investigators who conduct patient-focused clinical research, which has been published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine and six of UCC’s other most cited publications.

Embedded within UCC’s College of Medicine and Health and chaired by the head of the college, Prof Helen Whelton, the Clinical Research Facility UCC is also currently conducting three national-leading research projects on Covid-19.

“The funding for the facility is particularly good news for patients in the region, given that health systems underpinned by a vibrant research culture enjoy better outcomes of care,” said Prof Whelton.

“The award recognises the excellence of the team of Clinical Research Facility UCC scientists led by Prof Eustace.

“This team works hand in hand with clinicians and scientists locally, nationally and internationally to support the growing engagement in patient-focused research in our hospitals and wider health service.”

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