Last night I attended the launch of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s new research strategy. Our charity partner for 2013 marked the occasion with an international scientific conference, held at the Wellcome Trust, and it was good to see the UK biotech community well represented with companies like Vertex and Heptares and financiers like Abingworth all there. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies also spoke and it was good to catch up with her on NIHRs continued commitment to biomedical research.
I’ll let Janet Allen the Director of Research at the CF Trust take up the story here:
“This launch is a big moment for the charity and reflects the exciting opportunities that exist in the area of cystic fibrosis and also in the wider research environment. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has a strong and proud tradition of investment in research to advance treatment opportunities for people with cystic fibrosis. I hope this strategy will position the Trust to be able to take full advantage of these exciting times and to maximise the impact on the health and well-being of all people with cystic fibrosis and their families.
“The strategy has come out of extensive and widespread consultation with stakeholders in the UK and overseas, we are grateful to everyone for their generous time and input. The strategy will change the way we manage research investments. In particular, we will be more outward looking and seek to identify synergies and work with other funding agencies to increase the research awareness (whether government agencies such as NIHR and the research councils, such Medical Research Council, other research biomedical charities and industry).
“Our aim will be to manage a research portfolio that delivers solutions for all people with cystic fibrosis, so assisting in the delivery of the novel transformational treatments in the clinic whether they be small molecules, gene therapy or seizing new opportunities as they arise. But we also need to ensure we support research that slows the progress of the condition. Key features for the new strategy are to increase the quality and capacity for clinical trials, to recruit the brightest and best to cystic fibrosis research and to increase the voice of people with cystic fibrosis in the research agenda.
“These are exciting times in an era of unprecedented gains in treatment of the basic genetic defect that causes cystic fibrosis, we must forge a path forward in this new era and be at centre of driving research. Cystic fibrosis a fight we must win!”