New centres of excellence join the NIHR Translational Research Collaborations

Two of the NIHR’s Translational Research Collaborations (TRCs) will benefit from increased expertise and capabilities as four new centres join as members in April 2017.


Launched originally as Translational Research Partnerships in 2011, the TRCs support collaborations with the life sciences industry in the early phase exploratory development of new therapeutics with a focus on:


•inflammatory respiratory disease

•joint and related inflammatory diseases.


Together with industry partners, TRCs carry out early phase clinical research in patients to identify mechanisms of pathophysiology of disease, or to demonstrate proof-of-concept or evidence of the validity of new discoveries or treatments.


The Respiratory TRC is being extended to include the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, represented by Professor Stefan Marciniak. This centre, with international reputation and outstanding infrastructure for experimental medicine, is focused on understanding the phenotypic and genetic diversity of patients with respiratory disease in order to develop new therapies across a range of respiratory conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension.


The Joint TRC will welcome three new centres. The NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (represented by Professor David Walsh) brings expertise in the development of personalised intervention packages to individuals with musculoskeletal conditions and comorbidities to enhance quality of life with improved cost-effectiveness. The NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (represented by Professor Chris Edwards) has extensive expertise in the optimisation of biologic therapies in treating inflammatory arthritis throughout the life course. The NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre (represented by Professor Maya Buch) brings expertise in the early detection and optimal management of immune mediated inflammatory diseases, and the prevention of disease progression alongside treatment improvement.


In addition to this expertise, each new centre also provides access to new patient cohorts to help support study delivery.


Within the existing TRC portfolios of projects, in the last year, there have been three studies completed in the Respiratory TRC (a phase II study in chronic cough, a phase II study in asthma and a phase IV study in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) and two studies in the Joint TRC (a phase Ib study in Sjogren’s syndrome, and a proof of mechanism study in rheumatoid arthritis).