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Synexus and Northumbria Healthcare partnership takes major step forward

Tuesday, 09 September, 2014
Synexus and Northumbria Healthcare partnership takes major step forward

The Synexus and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust partnership has taken a major step forward by opening the Synexus North East Research Centre located within Hexham General Hospital.

The partnership formed between Synexus and Northumbria Healthcare is very exciting for clinical research as it is the first of its kind between a private company and the NHS and potentially showcases a new way of supporting clinical research in the UK.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest and top performing NHS foundation trusts in the country. Synexus runs clinical trials throughout the world working across a range of medical conditions and this is the eighth Synexus Dedicated Research Centre in the UK and the 25th across nine countries. The idea behind this new approach is to increase the number of potentially complex studies being undertaken by Synexus, with the support and experience of the clinical staff and services provided by the trust at the hospital. 

Speaking about the launch Sarah Beeby, Synexus’ UK managing director, said: “This is a very exciting partnership as it potentially signals a new way of working for the clinical trials sector that will enable UK patients to access new treatments and will also help ensure the UK clinical trials industry remains competitive on the global stage. This is groundbreaking and, we hope, the start of something that will replicate across the UK so that even more people can benefit.”

Results of an Ipsos MORI poll identified that 97 per cent of the public believed that it is important for the NHS to support research into new treatments[1]. The NHS Constitution makes the pledge to inform people of research studies they may be able to take part in. The partnership between Northumbria Healthcare and Synexus will help further translate this requirement into action.

Professor Richard Walker, clinical director of research and development at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “At Northumbria we believe everyone should be able to take part in appropriate clinical trials if they would like to.  This partnership will bring a wider variety of trials to the North East giving more people the chance to take part.

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Synexus. They are a very successful company with more than 20 years’ experience in running research centres world-wide. This partnership will provide us with opportunities to work together to deliver clinical research studies relating to a variety of conditions and usually will focus on those conditions which affect large numbers of people. 

“We support and encourage research in the NHS as this is essential to developing new treatments and medicines. We are already very active in the clinical research arena and work with a number of key partners including universities, pharmaceutical companies and research charities. This partnership breaks down the traditional division between NHS and private research so we are very excited about the potential this has to offer a blueprint for the future.”  

Clinical trials are carried out in order to advance medical understanding and develop more effective treatments clinical trials are carried out. Synexus undertakes what are called Phase 2 & 3 clinical trials which are focused on comparing new treatments with the best currently available treatment or a replacement. The partnership will be focused on these types of trials. This means they might be testing potential new treatments or looking at combinations of existing treatments. Clinical trials are vitally important as the evidence gained from them enables medical understanding to be advanced and for more effective treatments to be developed. 

A number of patients have already attended the Synexus North East Research Centre and found it be to ‘very impressive’, ‘welcoming’ and ‘excellent’.

Synexus conducts trials across a range of conditions with particular emphasis on cardiovascular, metabolic (diabetes and obesity), musculo skeletal, respiratory and central nervous system (dementia and pain) trials. These clinical areas echo the areas in which Northumbria Healthcare carries out a number of research studies in and it is hoped that by working in partnership it will be able to offer even more studies to interested parties across the North East.