The NIHR Moorfields Clinical Research Facility (CRF) has received a new five-year funding term to facilitate novel therapies and technologies to preserve patients’ sight. Receiving this five-year funding is a monumental milestone for the CRF, as it will ensure that the facility’s innovative and world-leading research, in progress since 2007, can continue to break new ground.
Our CRF is part of an internationally renowned partnership between Moorfields Eye Hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and includes the NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre.
It has previously pioneered laboratory discoveries that have translated into benefits for people with eye conditions in the NHS and globally including:
- The world's first gene therapy trial to treat Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare inherited eye disease
- The first stem cell membrane therapy trial to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- The world's first 3D printed prosthetic eye
- The UK's first bionic eye implant
These advances have boosted our facility’s and the UK’s international reputation for experimental eye treatments and attracted industry investment, underpinned by funding from the NIHR.
CRF Director Professor Sobha Sivaprasad says ‘We are thrilled that we have received this award for the next five-year term. I am immensely proud of our achievements to date, but there is more to do. We are at a turning point in ophthalmology and it is vital that we seize the momentum, especially in areas from gene, cell, innovative laser, surgical and drug therapies through to artificial intelligence. It is an exciting time, and this investment will ensure that our remarkable researchers and clinicians who are demonstrating true leadership have the infrastructure to deliver our eminent research portfolio.’
R&D Director Professor Sir Peng Tee Khaw says ‘Patients and members of the public have voted vision as the most precious sense by far, and the NIHR Moorfields Clinical Research Facility has pioneered the translation of innovative laboratory discoveries for patient benefit. The Government’s investment will allow us to continue to support skilled personnel and cutting-edge research facilities to accelerate world-leading treatments and technologies that will benefit people throughout the NHS and beyond.’
This support for our CRF is part of almost £160 million that National Institute for Health Research is awarding for the next five years to 28 NIHR Clinical Research Facilities across England. This is a £49 million (43%) increase from the previous term, with the aim to expand early phase clinical research delivery in NHS hospitals.
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