When the project is completed in 2012 Icon will have a hospital-based setting for translational medicine, which it believes will help it accommodate clients that want to conduct first-in-human studies in this environment.
The collaboration is intended to establish Manchester, UK as an international centre of excellence in translational medicine, with the nation’s pharma industry excited to see collaboration between different sectors.
Allison Jeynes-Ellis, Medical and Innovation Director at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), explained: "This is an example of the type of collaboration between industry, academia and the NHS (National Health Service) that the ABPI is seeking to encourage and which we believe will help drive forward translational medicine, building on the strength of the pharmaceutical, science and clinical base in the UK.”
Icon will gain access to the facilities used by other NHS members and the University of Manchester, as well as share expertise and contribute to education and training of clinical academics.
The investment is part of the development of Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI). Prior to the completion of Icon’s translational medicine site the company will house its current clinical pharmacology services in dedicated research facilities at MRI.
When completed the facility will increase Icon’s ability to conduct translational research, which has grown in prominence in recent years and become a priority for the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Translational research is an attempt to help knowledge move between laboratories, clinical trials and population studies. In Phase I translational medicine aims to take laboratory based research and apply it to human illnesses, a concept known as “bench to bedside”.
The NIH launched the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium in 2006 to further research and the number of health centres participating recently expanded to 39. By 2012 it is predicted that 60 institutions will be in the CTSA.