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Programme agreed to boost clinical trial participation in London

More patients are needed to try out new treatments for researchers to beat cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, the London Health Board (LHB) has warned in a new report.

The Board is chaired by the Mayor of London and is made up of leaders in health care, health sciences and local government including King’s Health Partners Executive Director Professor Sir Robert Lechler. It has commissioned London’s top life scientists to establish a programme to increase public and patient participation in clinical trials.

The lack of data on the long-term health outcomes for sufferers of rare diseases was highlighted in the report, which blamed high costs and long lead-in times for trials for discouraging research into such conditions.

Boris Johnson, LHB chair, said: "The goal is to more effectively tackle debilitating and life-threatening diseases, and integral to this will be more patients signing up to clinical trials.

"With some of the best life sciences research in the world – a sector I am keen to see grow - and a large and diverse population, London is well-placed to remain at the forefront of major breakthroughs in treatments."

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King’s Health Partners and an LHB member, said: “London’s diverse population means there are more opportunities for research and development here, in the capital, than in any other part of the world.

"We are already working to increase the number of clinical trials taking place in London by bringing together top university researchers with NHS clinicians and their patients, streamlining support with administrative and regulatory requirements, and creating an attractive environment in which to conduct trials.

"As our report recommends, London’s three Academic Health Sciences Centres must work together, and as part of their Academic Health Science Networks, to make London a ‘go to’ point for businesses and investors, whether global or local, to access, invest in and collaborate with life sciences."

Read the full press release on the LHB website here.

This story originally appeared in the King's Health Partners Staff e-bulletin.