GOSH awarded £37 million funding to carry out pioneering paediatric research

14 Sep 2016, 5:39 p.m.

ICH researcher using microscope

The NIHR Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has been awarded £37 million in funding to drive forward translational research into rare diseases in children. The Centre is the only one of its kind in the UK dedicated to paediatric research.The successful application, submitted as part of an ongoing partnership between Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and University College London and its Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, secures BRC status for an additional five years, from 2017-2022.

The award enables basic scientific discoveries developed in laboratories to be translated into ‘first in man’ or ‘first in child’ clinical studies. These aim to accelerate discoveries into the basis of, and treatments for, childhood rare and complex diseases.

The renewed GOSH BRC project is focussed on four principal themes:

  • Gene, Stem, and Cellular Therapies
  • Genomics and Systems Medicine
  • Novel Therapies and their Translation into Childhood Diseases
  • Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformation and Tissue Damage
The GOSH BRC is one of 20 NHS and University partnerships across England to be awarded funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It is also one of three BRCs associated with University College London (UCL), alongside University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Moorfields.

This new funding will enable further world class discoveries at the NIHR Great Ormond Street BRC, such as developing gene therapy which create cells that kill drug resistant leukaemia – a treatment that recently saved two infants at GOSH from otherwise ‘incurable’ leukaemia.

Professor Thomas Voit, Director Designate of the NIHR Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre, said:

“Today’s announcement builds on the great successes of GOSH as a pioneer in treating rare diseases of children with methods at the forefront of today’s medicine, and will allow us to develop new avenues to understand the basis of rare diseases in children and to devise specific new treatments.

“Our successful application is testament to the dedicated support of patients and families who tirelessly help investigators and doctors to shape our research hospital of the future. Their engagement is central to all translational research efforts at GOSH.”

Dr Peter Steer, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We’re thrilled that the quality of our research has been recognised in this way, and investment made in our future programmes, all with the goal of finding treatments and cures for children with some of the rarest and most complex conditions.

“Our pioneering research is only possible through funding and collaboration from across the UK, Europe and beyond and we know that this new funding announcement will have a powerful impact on our ability to develop new and innovative treatments for children across the country, and indeed across the world.”

Professor David Lomas, Vice-Provost Health of University College London, said: “I am delighted by this award which is a testament to the close partnership between the University and Great Ormond Street Hospital.”

Professor Rosalind Smyth, Director of the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health commented: “Our research is leading to new and exciting treatments for children with rare diseases, which will benefit children throughout the UK and worldwide.”

The latest award follows previous successful bids in 2007 and 2011.

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