Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) has made a grant of £11.5 million to the University of Oxford, which the University will match with other funding, to allow the development of major clinical research facilities which have the potential to support the introduction of innovative and ground-breaking treatments for patients. Oxford is one of the most vibrant places both in the UK and internationally for healthcare research, and this grant will strengthen the partnership between OUH and the University of Oxford.
OUH and the University are strategic partners in the largest Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in England, which supports the Trust’s strategic theme of World Class Research, Education, and Innovation.
The projects which are covered by the £11.5 million grant will support both the future of the Oxford BRC and clinical innovation to benefit patients – the three projects are as follows:
• An expanded Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility (CBF)
OUH will contribute to the costs of an expansion of the University-owned Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility (CBF) on the Churchill Hospital site which is adjacent to the current clinical trials aseptic unit (CTASU) and a new Clinical Research Facility. The Trust is in a unique position in having an academic partner which owns a fully functional pharmaceutical products’ manufacturing facility, and this expansion will benefit patients in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley.
• New Clinical Research Facility (CRF)
The grant from OUH will go towards the operational costs and equipment at the new Clinical Research Facility (CRF), and in the future will also support refurbishment on hospital sites to create dedicated facilities for clinical trials and allow challenge ‘first in man’ trials of therapeutics and trials of future vaccines, which will provide healthcare benefits and opportunities for patients.
• A new CT scanner in the Acute Vascular imaging Centre (AVIC)
OUH will contribute to the refurbishment of AVIC at the John Radcliffe Hospital, in order to establish a multi-disciplinary, state of the art CT imaging capability which will not only greatly expand the capacity for routine clinical CT scanning of patients in clinical specialties such as cardiac and stroke, but also advance new techniques through its photon-counting CT scanner, which will be the only one in the UK. These developments will directly benefit patients through new CT-guided minimally invasive techniques in cardiology, stroke, neurosurgery, oncology, endocrinology, radiology, and other specialties.
These new facilities are primarily for research, but they all have the potential to support the introduction of new clinical activity in the future.
Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford University Hospitals (OUH), said: “OUH and the University developed a fast and joint response to the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering great advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of this new disease in the UK and globally.
“This new investment in shared infrastructure will allow us to make similar significant contributions in other diseases.”
Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of the Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford and a Non-executive Director on the OUH Trust Board, added: “We are very grateful for this generous grant from the Trust, which when combined with other funding will enable us to develop some of our key clinical research infrastructure.
“This commitment from the Trust clearly highlights an already very successful partnership, and by improving our facilities, patients will continue to benefit from the best possible care underpinned by world-leading research.”