The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has a new partnership agreement signed between the Clinical Research Network: North West Coast (CRN:NWC) and PAREXEL.

CRN:NWC is a partnership of 42 NHS Trusts and clinical commissioning groups that works to increase the opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research, ensures that studies are carried out efficiently, and improves the environment for commercial contract clinical research in the NHS in the North West Coast area.

PAREXEL is a provider of global biopharmaceutical services, offering Phase I-IV clinical research, regulatory, consulting and market access services.

The agreement between CRN:NWC and PAREXEL “will provide both partners with new opportunities to share knowledge and expertise around research delivery and access to their respective research portfolios,” as well as bring more research opportunities into North West Coast Region, said the NIHR commenting on the move.

“Over 100 patients take part in research every day on the North West Coast, the region is playing a leading role in ensuring patients benefit from the latest innovation that the life science sector has to offer,” said Professor Martin Lombard, clinical director of CRN:NWC.

“PAREXEL will be at the forefront of this initiative and we are excited about our future collaborations together.”

The NIHR said earlier this year that more than 50,000 people now take part in commercial research studies that are jointly supported by the NHS and the Life Science Industry, marking an increase of 45% over the previous year.

“Partnerships between the NHS and the life sciences industry bring a range of benefits to the healthcare sector - giving trusts access to new treatments and funding for health research, while also boosting the wider economy each year through the development of cutting edge medical innovations,” said Dr Jonathan Sheffield OBE, chief executive of the NIHR.