A new report from The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has found that UK is leading early-stage clinical research in Europe.
The report looked at the research environment and compares how the UK performed against other countries in Europe and other key countries around the world.
It found that cancer remains the top area for UK clinical trials, with 226 trials taking place in 2018, followed by research on the immune system, with 94 trials in the same year.
The data also shows that the UK was leading the rest of Europe in the number of early-stage clinical trials, and on phase II testing.
For phase III trials, the UK ranked third in Europe behind Germany and Spain, and fourth globally behind the US, which continued to lead globally in clinical trials for all phases of research.
According to the ABPI, improving the UK’s performance in later stage clinical trials could have a significant benefit for patients who could access potentially life-saving treatments through research.
The report has also implored the UK government to create a strategy to restart non-COVID clinical research safely and sustainably as many trials have been paused earlier this year due to the pandemic.
The ABPI has also highlighted the need for patient involvement in the research environment, and wants to work with industry across the life sciences sector and with the government to ensure system-wide inclusion of research participants and contributors.
“The UK performs very well on the world stage in clinical trials, but COVID-19 is presenting us with many challenges. It is crucial that the Government has a plan for the safe and sustainable restart of non-COVID trials, recognising the extra pressures the NHS is facing,” said Richard Torbett, chief executive of the ABPI.
“By embracing new and innovative approaches in research we have the opportunity to transform how clinical trials are conducted in the UK and maximise the benefits for the NHS, patients and the economy,” he added.