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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

Report sheds light on the state of UK industry clinical trials

A report by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has shed light on the current climate of UK industry clinical trials.

The report, Rescuing Patient Access to Industry Clinical Trials in the UK, shows that not only did the number of industry clinical trials initiated in the UK fall by 41% between 2017 and 2021, but the number of Phase III industry trials (medicines closest to market) also fell by 48% in the same timeframe.

In 2021/22, the total number of patients with access to industry clinical trials on the National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) was 28,193. This was significantly down from 50,112 in 2017/18.

Those affected by rare diseases, such as brain tumour patients, have limited treatment options in routine care and, as such, are disproportionately affected by reduced accessibility to treatments through clinical research. The five-year survival rate for brain tumour patients is only 12.5%, the poorest of all cancers except pancreatic, and so the need for new treatment options is very clear.

Hugh Adams, our Head of Stakeholder Relations, said: “This news is troubling for anyone interested in improving the options and outcomes for anyone affected by a brain tumour. If we fund early-stage science but then cannot get discoveries through to clinical trials then we are failing patients. Similarly, if we prioritise funding for trials to the exclusion of early-stage science, we will reach a point where we have no trials to fund.

“The complete translational pipeline from scientist’s bench to patient’s bedside needs appropriate funding and, at Brain Tumour Research, we are clear that this needs joint enterprise by charities and by Government.”

In order to regain the UK’s competitiveness in industry clinical research, the ABPI have set out both short and long-term recommendations for the Government and NHS.

Read the full report online by clicking here.

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