The number of commercial studies adopted into the National Institute for Health Research’s Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) Portfolio in England during the third quarter of 2010/11 reached 115, the highest level since the Network started compiling quarterly reports in 2008.

The commercial study tally for October to December 2010 (the NIHR’s financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March) was 125% more than in the same period of 2009-2010, reflecting progress made by the Network in engaging with the clinical research community, , the NIHR CRN noted.

According to Network, two core factors were behind the upturn: more chief investigators insisting that studies should go through the NIHR CRN; and more awareness in the life sciences industry of available Network services, such as a broad range of investigators and research sites throughout England, standard templates to speed-up costing and contract negotiations, and study feasibility advice from key opinion leaders. 

Lucy Pollock, marketing manager for clinical studies at Medtronic, also cited the benefits of Network studies for the overall research infrastructure.  

“The Clinical Research Network ensures your study receives appropriate resources, but it also promotes a positive cycle of research,” she commented.  “This means the funding we feed into the NHS is channelled back into research and helps strengthen research capacity.”