Birmingham Health Partners
Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) is a collaboration between Birmingham Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham and the University of Birmingham, creating an overarching research management structure.
BHP brings together clinical, scientific and academic excellence from all three partners across an integrated medical and life sciences campus. Its aim is to deliver an integrated pan-Birmingham research strategy from childhood to old-age, translating basic discovery science into clinical benefits for Britain’s second city, a regional population of six million and the wider health economy. The vehicle for this will be a world-leading Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM), sitting at the heart of one of the largest catchment areas in Europe.
BHP combines outstanding basic laboratory sciences and clinical research excellence, focused on improving human health through innovation and increasingly personalised care. The strategic objectives of BHP focus on the identification, adoption and spread of innovation and best practice, through the alignment of healthcare delivery, research and training in the short and medium term.
Longer term objectives are to improve healthcare; contribute to the local economy through job creation and inward investment into the biomedical sector; and increase public engagement and education about biomedicine and clinical research through increased enrolment into early and late phase clinical trials.
Institute of Translational Medicine
Birmingham Health Partners are leading the development of a new Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM), a new world-class clinical research facility in Birmingham.
The centre will help progress the very latest scientific research findings from the University into enhanced treatments for patients across a range of major health issues including cancer and liver disease.
The Institute will build on Birmingham’s excellent track record in clinical trials by increasing capacity and enabling more patients to be co-located alongside clinicians and researchers. It will also make it easier for both SME and large pharma and biotechnology firms to work more closely with clinicians and academics, bringing additional investment into the city.
Collaboration with Industry
One of the key priorities outlined in our 2011 bid to the National Institute for Health Research, was for our Clinical Research Facility (CRF) to develop stronger links with industry.
During the course of this year, Professor David Simmonds was appointed on a two-year contract with this specific remit. His background in the pharmaceutical industry has been invaluable in developing funding bids and establishing links with key industry stakeholders.
Here at BCH, there has been significant industry involvement in three key areas: Type 2 diabetes, inherited metabolic disease, and Hepatology. An MRC-supported national childhood Type 2 diabetes cohort based in the CRF has attracted much industry interest, and is currently supporting recruitment to Phase II and III studies from Novo Nordisk, Bristol-Myers-Squibb and Merck-Sharpe-Dohme. This has brought industry studies to the UK as there is no other comparable cohort in Europe.
Existing partnerships with BioMarin and Shire into inherited metabolic disease continue, particularly focussing on the challenge of managing the care of children with Hunter syndrome. Currently, Birmingham is one of only three centres for the HIT 45 study and hoping to recruit children from elsewhere in Europe.