MAHSC and Roche launch unique UK research collaboration

Partnership will boost clinical research studies, leading to development of new drugs and diagnostic tools

Closer clinical links will enable the partners to explore opportunities for combination therapies and increase understanding of the potential benefits of high-impact medicines, technologies, devices, and diagnostics in the healthcare system

Researchers and clinicians from Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) have launched a major partnership with leading global pharmaceutical company, Roche.

The new relationship will boost clinical research studies, which could lead to the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools and give patients in the region greater access to new treatments in development.

The alliance also includes colleagues from the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network (GM AHSN), which is focused on ensuring new medicines, diagnostic tools and health technology become widely available more quickly; and the NIHR Greater Manchester Comprehensive Local Research Network (CLRN), which supports researchers and companies to identify and recruit patients into clinical studies quickly and efficiently.

The aims of the new partnership, the first between Roche and an AHSC, include:

  • Seeking opportunities for development of biomarker research within MAHSC’s six domains (cancer, cardiovascular, human development, inflammation & repair, mental health and, population health)
  • Supporting the training of the next generation of MAHSC researchers and clinicians in clinical and translational medicine
  • Improving access to new medicines available and encouraging wider participation of patients in clinical trials

Closer clinical links between MAHSC and Roche will enable the partners to explore opportunities for combination therapies and increase understanding of the potential benefits of high-impact medicines, technologies, devices, and diagnostics in the healthcare system. Investigators leading clinical trials across MAHSC will gain early access to new drugs, and MAHSC research studies may, in turn, identify new uses for existing Roche products.

The collaboration will enable patients to have faster and greater access to new medicines and give the medical community more hands on research experience plus closer links to the latest research studies.

To improve patient care it’s essential to increase our understanding of the role of innovative molecules in the real world and how new medicines might impact patient pathways and the wider healthcare system

Christopher Burdette, head of project strategy and portfolio management at Roche Products, said: “To improve patient care it’s essential to increase our understanding of the role of innovative molecules in the real world and how new medicines might impact patient pathways and the wider healthcare system.

“Roche recognises the strong research community in Manchester and scientific potential of the UK – that’s why we’re excited to establish this collaborative relationship.”

Dr Linda Magee, business development director at MAHSC, added: "This exciting new collaboration with Roche encapsulates the significant benefits an Academic Health Science Centre can offer industry. Access to the skills of our leading clinicians and researchers, and a population of 3.6 million, in partnership with the GM AHSN and CLRN, will provide Roche with the opportunity to develop and test new diagnostic tools and drugs in a streamlined and effective way.

"The benefits for MAHSC are also considerable. Working with a major global player like Roche gives our teams access to innovative new therapies for our patients and supports the development of the next generation of translational medicine experts and clinical investigators.”

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