The impact and growth of a national clinical research infrastructure

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Matt Cooper - Business Development & Marketing Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre

Short description of the presentation:

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network is the research delivery arm of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) - supporting rapid study set-up and patient recruitment into all phases of clinical research. We invest into a research infrastructure of trained clinical research professionals who work throughout the NHS and across all disease areas.

In recent years the Network has placed a particular focus on supporting the life sciences industry. This has resulted in year-on-year improvements in patient recruitment into commercial studies. In the year 2015/16 we recruited 34,300 patients into commercial clinical trials.

I will discuss recent work has demonstrated the impact to the NHS, in terms of both economic growth and patient outcomes, of having a research active NHS.

Biography of the speaker:

The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network is the research delivery arm of the NHS.  It invests some £300m each year into an infrastructure of specially-trained clinical research nurses and other clinical professionals across England, to support rapid study set-up and patient identification/recruitment into clinical research studies.  In recent years, the Network has placed a particular focus on its support for the commercial life-sciences industry, which has resulted in year-on-year improvements in patient recruitment numbers for industry studies.

Dr Matt Cooper was recently appointed as the organisation's Business Development & Marketing Director.  He brings a wealth of experience to the post, having been part of the Network structure for many years.  In his previous role he was a member of the leadership team for the Network’s Cancer Specialty, (previously known as the NIHR Cancer Research Network), where he helped to improve patient recruitment to the extent that one in five patients diagnosed with cancer now participate in clinical research – a figure without compare in any other country.  He was also influential in developing alliances between industry and academic researchers to explore innovative uses for new compounds – an initiative he hopes to extend into new therapy areas in his new role.

Matt gained a PhD in molecular virology (1997) and conducted post doctoral research with the Molecular Medicine Unit at St James’s Hospital, Leeds. He joined AstraZeneca UK as a Clinical Research Scientist and then Study Manager in their Clinical Studies Group and over the next 5 years conducted phase II and III studies in a variety of therapy areas.

In 2003 he came back to academia first in a Clinical Trials Unit at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and later a Musculoskeletal Disease trials group at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine. He joined the NIHR Cancer Research Network (now known as the Cancer Specialty within the NIHR Clinical Research Network) in December 2006 as Principal Fellow for Clinical Trials and was responsible for the programme of work liaising with the Pharmaceutical Industry to adopt commercial research into the national portfolio of trials. Matt was appointed Assistant Director in 2009. Matt was appointed as NIHR Clinical Research Network Life-Sciences Development Director at the NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre in June 2014. Following the networks successful retender and restructure in April 2015 Matt was appointed to his current role -  Business Development and Marketing Director.


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