New £30m funding to improve treatment of inflammatory diseases

New £30m funding to improve treatment of inflammatory diseases
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An additional £30 million research injection will further fund developments into inflammatory diseases.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre has been granted over £30m of funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research to support world-leading research into inflammatory diseases.

The funding means that local people with common inflammatory diseases such as cancer and heart disease will benefit from the major funding injection, which will be used to develop new diagnostic tools and treatments for those with a range of diseases and illnesses.

What are inflammatory diseases?

In inflammatory diseases, inflammation often occurs by mistake. The increased blood flow and cells to the inflamed area cause heat, swelling, pain and loss of function, despite no infection or trauma.

The long-term effects depend on how long the inflammation lasts. For example, short-term inflammation, such as an allergic reaction, is generally fully resolved and leaves no long-term problems. However, inflammation lasting several months or years may cause lasting damage to the affected area.

Tim Jones, Chief Innovation Officer at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted with the award to the NIHR Birmingham BRC, which builds on our successful track record of joint working in Inflammatory disease, the award will significantly support the acceleration of discoveries for the benefit of our patients”.

Funding future inflammation research

The research centre based at the University of Birmingham unites NHS providers guided by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and academic institutions. The partnership connects eight organisations working closely with charities and businesses to support research into inflammatory diseases.

The research injection offers almost 3-fold more funding and will enable researchers to focus on eight areas of illness, including heart disease, women’s health, and common complications from inflammation. It will also allow researchers to develop new tests and biomarkers for disease, health technologies including stem cells and gene therapy, patient experiences and data science.

Improving patient outcomes for common diseases

Collaborative research produced by NIHR Birmingham has seen almost 1,000 clinical trials and informed UK clinical guidelines. The investment into inflammatory diseases will enable clinicians, researchers, patients and supporters to find new treatments.

Professor Phil Newsome, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Director of the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre said: “Inflammation plays a central role in many health conditions, with millions of people in the UK alone experiencing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and bronchitis.

“The significant increase in funding for the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre will enable us to provide an outstanding environment for world-leading clinical research. The funding will allow us to make a step-change in our work tackling different forms of cancer, trialling new drugs for liver disease, and dealing with antimicrobial resistance.”


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