It was incredibly interesting to see and hear about the most cutting-edge research that King’s is doing in psychiatry. There’s too little focus on the mental health sector when it comes to clinical trials policy, despite the great work at places like King’s, and we need to bring more commercial research of this kind into the UK.Lord O’Shaughnessy
22 September 2023
Lord O'Shaughnessy visits King's College London and the NIHR King's Clinical Research Facility
Lord O’Shaughnessy, Former Health Minister and Senior Partner at consultancy firm Newmarket Strategy visited IoPPN and the NIHR King's Clinical Research Facility as part of a strategy to strengthen the commercial portfolio in clinical trials.
Lord O'Shaughnessy, Senior Partner at consultancy firm Newmarket Strategy, Board Member of Health Data Research UK (HDR UK), and former Health Minister, visited the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the NIHR King's Clinical Research Facility (CRF) on Sept 11 2023 as part of a strategy to strengthen the commercial portfolio in clinical trials.
During a tour of the CRF led by Professor Mitul Mehta, Lord O’Shaughnessy was made aware of the variety of techniques used at the facility, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), virtual reality, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation applied to clinical research studies for developing pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
He also toured the psychedelic treatment rooms and learnt of the new, dedicated facility for psychedelic trials and research. Further studies in the area of mental illness and neurology were highlighted, showcasing the diversity of research questions and treatment opportunities being studied.
Professor Mitul Mehta, Director of the Centre for Innovative Therapeutics (C-FIT), Professor of Neuroimaging & Psychopharmacology at the IoPPN, and Theme Lead, Experimental Medicine and Novel Therapeutics at the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, said, “It was great to tap into Lord O’Shaughnessy’s insight into the commercial clinical trials landscape in the UK, and understand opportunities for us at King’s College London to contribute to improving trials in severe mental illness and neurological disorders.”
Lord O’Shaughnessy provided an update on The Independent Review of UK Commercial Clinical Trials. The visit also included presentations and discussion from academics across the IoPPN, on:
- Best practice in collaborating with industry
- King’s College London enabling diversity in clinical trials: a major global unmet need
- Fast progress in understanding brain disorders 'lost in translation'
- Pharmaceutical industry bias in conducting clinical trials in the UK - removing barriers to recruitment and addressing cost of delivering commercial clinical trials
- Development of a strategy for increased commercial funding in research and development for novel treatment in SMI and neuroscience
Lord O'Shaughnessy’s Independent Review of UK Commercial Clinical Trials is key to ensuring the UK remains competitive for commercial clinical trials. With our expertise, facilities, and breadth of knowledge we’re in an excellent position to deliver high quality trials in mental health, capitalising on his recommendations to strengthen the UK’s clinical trial offering.Professor Matthew Hotopf CBE FRCPsych FMedSci, Executive Dean of the IoPPN
Professor Allan Young, Head of School for Academic Psychiatry at the IoPPN, said: ''We are at the beginning of a new era of multiple novel treatment modalities for common psychiatric disorders. I believe that supporting the implementation of Lord O'Shaughnessy's report recommendations can be a key milestone for making the UK one of the best places for early phase industry clinical trials in mental health.”
Lord O’Shaughnessy was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health between 2016 and 2018. He led the Independent Review of UK Commercial Clinical Trials commissioned by the government, published in May 2023 to offer recommendations on how commercial clinical trials can help unlock UK investment opportunities.
The NIHR King's Clinical Research Facility (CRF) provides dedicated facilities to support the delivery of externally-funded early translational (experimental medicine) research, including early-phase studies (Phase 2a and earlier) and early translational research studies that are nested within later-phase studies.