A €7 million clinical research facility (CRF) has been opened in Dublin. The new centre is a joint initiative between Trinity College Dublin and St James’ Hospital with funding from the Wellcome Trust and Health Research Board of Ireland.
Commenting as she opened the facility, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “This facility shows the real benefits of collaboration as it will allow greater consolidation of activities between Trinity College and St James’s Hospital and provide first-class patient-focused research almost at the patient’s bedside, while supporting excellence in medical education and research.”
The new centre hosts high technology facilities that are unique in Ireland to enable cutting-edge studies in experimental medicine and early- and late-phase clinical trials at the forefront of biomedical research. These include a research pharmacy capable of safely compounding cancer drugs and handling novel gene therapies and vaccines, inpatient isolation rooms to nurse patients with infections or compromised immune systems, and a neuropsychology suite that will enable high-quality studies of brain activity and cognition.
The facility has a rapidly developing study pipeline with 25 translational research projects already planned or underway. Examples include the PEACHI project (an EU-funded project to develop a simple, affordable and effective vaccine against hepatitis C in HIV-positive patients), a clinical trial of radiotherapy versus chemotherapy for patients with oesophageal cancer, and a trial of an antidiabetic medication in the protection of elderly patients against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.