£11.8m to continue research for children, young people and adults

Posted on Monday 7th March 2022
A laboratory technician pipetting

Researcher in Wolf Clinical Research Facility.

Evelina London, as well as hospitals across Guy’s and St Thomas’, has been awarded funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to continue to provide world-leading research for children and young people.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ has received £11.8m to continue providing state-of-the-art facilities and staff for its clinical research facilities (CRFs).

Our children’s hospital has two CRFs for research, Wolf and Seal, which opened in early 2020. Our CRFs are dedicated, welcoming spaces where children and young people can take part in research studies or clinical trials, alongside their regular care, with expert clinical teams.

Wolf CRF specialises in early phase clinical trials and research, for conditions including neurology and rare diseases. Seal CRF provides a specialist environment for children, young people and their families to participate in a broad range of paediatric allergy and dermatology related clinical research studies.

Our trials directly benefit children and young people both in the short term by allowing them access to new treatment opportunities, and longer term by helping to set new standards of care to be delivered across the NHS.

Dr Ming Lim, research and development lead at Evelina London and paediatric lead for the CRFs, said: “It’s great news that we can continue to further our ambition to be a world-leading children’s hospital, offering ground-breaking research and early phase clinical trials for our children, young people and their families.”       

The new award supports clinical trials across Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust which includes five hospitals and services for both adults and children. Across the Trust there are five dedicated research facilities, recruiting more than 1 in 10 of all patients entering CRF trials nationally. Our research addresses a wide range of healthcare needs and conditions such including rare diseases, and we specialise in trials testing new treatments and new tests for diagnosing conditions for the first time.

Professor James Spicer, Director of NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ CRF said: “This new NIHR award recognises the significant progress that we have already made in supporting the development and delivery of novel therapies. It will allow us to expand our portfolio and provide trial access for more researchers and their patients. It marks a significant contribution to our mission of testing new drugs and developing sophisticated imaging and personalised medicine for children and adult patients affected by a broad range of diseases.”

The funding from the NIHR was awarded following a competitive bidding process. It will support the Trust’s CRFs for five years from September 2022 and allows us to expand the volume of ground-breaking research undertaken across the Trust. Our CRFs continues to work closely with our NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), which drives laboratory research towards clinical testing, and delivers highly innovative trials based on this emerging science.