Lancaster University

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University awarded £400K for statistical methodology for early phase clinical trials

12/11/2008 09:33:32

Lancaster University will receive £400K for developing methodology for early phase clinical trials, as part of a newly established North West Hub for Trial Methodology Research (NWHTMR).

The MRC, in partnership with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), has provided £16 million of funding to establish a national network of hubs which will develop new and improved methods to design, conduct, analyse and report clinical trials. The NWHTMR which has been awarded £2.75 million of this total is led by the Clinical Trials Research Centre at the University of Liverpool in partnership with Lancaster and Bangor Universities.

This collaboration, funded for the five years 2008-13, will provide clinical trial methodological expertise in areas such as drug safety, medicines for children, epilepsy and cancer. Professor Anne Whitehead , Professor John Whitehead, Dr Thomas Jaki and Dr Helene Thygesen from the Medical Statistics Section of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics will contribute expertise in the design and analysis of early phase clinical trials in order to promote, modify and implement recently devised statistical methods.

The focus of the research at Lancaster will be on methods of early phase trial design to speed up and streamline the process of clinical drug development. This should reduce the time taken to bring effective and safe therapies to patients.

Two PhD studentships in early phase trial design and analysis are to be funded starting in October 2009.

Each hub in this national network will undertake high quality research into trial methodology and also provide support and advice on clinical trial methods to the research community. The hubs will be linked, creating a national facility providing access to expertise across a broad range of methodological and therapeutic areas.

Lancaster’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics has an internationally recognised reputation for research . Together The Guardian, The Independent and The Times rank Lancaster, Oxford and Cambridge as the three best universities in the UK for full-time undergraduate study in Mathematics and Statistics.