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Sharron Davies opens new respiratory research clinic

Olympic swimmer and television personality Sharron Davies MBE was in Nottingham this week to open a new clinical trials unit that will take treatments for respiratory illnesses such as asthma from laboratory bench to bedside.

The Nottingham Respiratory BRU Clinical Trials Unit will bridge the gap between treatment and research by offering clinical services to NHS patients with respiratory disease, while recruiting volunteers for studies into developing new drugs and therapies to help people to manage their illness.

The new centre is part of the Nottingham Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit (NRBRU), a partnership between The University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Funded with 6.1 million by the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research, it is one of 16 Biomedical Research Units in the UK focusing on 'translational research' taking advances and innovations in basic medical research out of the laboratory and into NHS practice, with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.

Sharron Davies unveiled the new unit, based at the Nottingham City Hospital campus on Wednesday June 9.

She said: "I am delighted to have been invited to open the new Nottingham Respiratory BRU Clinical Trials Unit. Asthma is a serious disease and a health issue that many competitive swimmers have to overcome to achieve success in their sport. It is exciting to think that the clinical trials that will be conducted in Nottingham could one day make a real difference to the millions of people worldwide who suffer from this debilitating illness."

The Nottingham Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit brings together 10 research groups carrying out biomedical, epidemiological and clinical respiratory research. The new clinical trials unit will be based within Nottingham City Hospital in space previously occupied by the paediatric outpatient facility before it was moved to the new Nottingham Children's Hospital at the Queen's Medical Centre campus.

Director of the NRBRU Professor Alan Knox said: "The new unit will bring together both the clinical and research strands of our work to provide a great facility to test new medicines for asthma and COPD. Recruiting for clinical trials is a great example of how the local community in Nottingham can help to make a positive impact on the future health of the city and its inhabitants."

Among the research being carried out at the NRBRU that will benefit from the new clinical trials unit is a study being led by Dr John Anderson looking whether a tablet originally produced for people with diabetes could be used to treat mild asthma.

Dr Anderson said: "Studies like ours rely on the goodwill of patients who give up their time, often for no monetary reward, to help develop our understanding of respiratory conditions such as asthma and to explore new options for treatments.

"We have found that although, it may not benefit their own health in the short term, patients are often keen to take part in clinical trials because they like the idea that their involvement could in the future give relief to others who suffer from the same debilitating conditions."


Contact: Emma Thorne
University of Nottingham

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