Available resources for industry
MRC has made significant investments in research, often in partnership with other funders, that benefit both academic and industry researchers. We describe some examples below.
Biobank has been designed to allow registered scientists to examine the complex interaction of genes and environmental factors including lifestyle, in causing a wide range of different diseases. It has been funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, the Department of Health, The British Heart Foundation and the Scottish and Welsh Governments.
An integrated national network of brain tissue banks which can supply tissue to academic and industry researchers.
A joint initiative funded by the MRC, the national Institute for Health Research in England, the Welsh Office of Research and Development, and the Chief Scientists Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates. Open to both academic and industry researchers looking to carry out early, exploratory trials of potential new treatments or to investigate novel mechanisms and pathways of disease.
More information can be found at: Patient Research Cohorts Initiative (PDF) (PDF, 164KB)
The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research
A consortium of 10 UK government and charity funders, led by the MRC, has made a £19 million investment to establish four e-health research Centres of Excellence in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea. The Centres opened in March 2013 and will harness the wealth of UK electronic health records to improve patient care and public health. The four Centres will investigate a wide range of conditions that place a huge burden on the UK population, including diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and child and maternal health.
The new Institute, WT/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute builds on existing investment by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust, uniting 30 leading research teams with expertise across the three main types of stem cell: embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent cells. Research scientists will work alongside technology specialists and doctors to develop new therapeutic approaches underpinned by a strong base of fundamental stem cell biology. Located in Cambridge, the Institute is near the largest cluster of biotechnology companies in Europe, allowing unrivalled opportunity for industry collaboration.
The Mary Lyon Centre (MLC), Harwell offers specialist services to the life science, clinical research and biopharmaceutical industry and academic researchers. The MLC is a national facility for mouse functional genomics, providing world-class expertise, tools and space to generate mouse models of human disease for MRC Harwell and the wider research community.
To strengthen the UK’s position as a leader in the methods that underpin health research, MRC and the National Institute for Health Research launched the Methodology Research Programme in 2007. This has now been has been extended to create the Methodology Hub Network. The scope of the programme is broad and includes the tools, theories and disciplines that underpin the design, analysis and evaluation of health sciences research studies. The programme’s strategy extends beyond academic research to address the methodological research needs of public sector regulatory and advisory health bodies and industry R&D.
The bulk of the CTU's work is designing, developing and running clinical trials to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat major health problems. It also has a remit to expand into other areas that do not have a strong tradition of trials, for example, looking beyond whether a treatment is effective to see how it affects patients' quality of life. The Unit is becoming increasingly involved in collaborations with industry to develop new drugs in situations where, for example, very large trials are needed, or in uncommon diseases that are not viable commercial propositions. Industrial support is common in CTU trials of untried drug combinations or new uses for existing drugs.
Funded by the MRC and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the UK Stem Cell Bank is responsible for storing, characterising and supplying ethically-approved, quality-controlled stem cell lines for medical research and treatment. Located at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, it is a repository for stem cells derived from adult, fetal and embryonic tissues and is open to industry and academic scientists in the UK and overseas.
The Centre for Drug Safety Science undertake fundamental clinical and basic research into the causes, characteristics and consequences of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Their mission is to create a world-leading centre for the investigation of fundamental mechanisms of clinically important ADRs with the overall aim of preventing such reactions by improved drug selection, drug design and more informed patient selection.