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£3m drug safety center investment

LIVERPOOL, UK 29 January 2014: The Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool has received three million pounds of new funding from MRC to allow it to continue reducing the impact of adverse reactions to medicinal drugs.

Adverse drug reactions result in one in 15 hospital admissions and cost the NHS in excess of 650 million every year. They are also a significant cause of drug attrition for the pharmaceutical industry. The Centre addresses these problems by gaining an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that drive adverse drug reactions to improve patient care.

The new funding will allow the Centre to consolidate its main areas of research on drug-induced liver injury and drug-induced skin hypersensitivity, for which it is internationally renowned. The funding will also enable the development of new expertise in the significant clinical problem of gastrointestinal drug toxicity.

Training is a significant part of the Centre's mission and the funding will allow it to continue to train the next generation of clinical and non-clinical drug safety scientists to bridge the skills gap in this area for pharmaceutical companies, the biotechnology sector, contract research organisations and academia.

The Centre works alongside partners from academia, regulatory authorities and industry and has attracted over 16 million in additional funding since it was set up in 2008.

Professor Kevin Park, Director of the Centre said: "This is good news for the University of Liverpool and highlights the value that the MRC sees in our national centre of excellence. It is also good news for the people who are affected by adverse reactions to medicines".

Professor Munir Pirmohamed, Head of Department of Pharmacology said: "This highlights the critical mass of expertise we have in drug safety in Liverpool. The new funding and new equipment will allow us to continue to train scientists and clinicians and translate our research into both medical practice and drug development processes. Ultimately we want to make drugs much safer for everybody."

Dr Nathan Richardson, Head of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, MRC said: "The Centre has built up an impressive bio-analytical and training facility in the first five years of core funding, with partnerships between academics, clinicians, industry and regulatory authorities.

"Positioned as a key part of MRC's portfolio in drug safety science research, we are delighted to continue strategic support for the Centre, and look forward to seeing increasing impact of its research in clinical care, including through the new research area of gastrointestinal toxicity."


Contact: Jamie Brown
University of Liverpool

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