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NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre

Innovation and Partnership

Innovation and Partnership

The following outlines our excellent track-record of collaboration with the NIHR, NHS and University partners to maximise the benefit for patients and translation into NHS care:

Overarching BRC

  • Between 2013-2019 NHS England (NHSE) and Genomics England have partnered this BRC to create 13 Genomic Medicine Centres in experimental medicine in rare disease and cancer working with 98 hospitals across England and multiple BRCs during the 100KGP.
  • We initiated a UK-France multi-omic collaboration (£2.7m) around rare-disease/cancer promoting partnership between France-Genomique and the 100KGP funded by Department of Health
  • We created the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership with 3600 international researchers from >400 institutions in 33 countries. They won £50m to drive up the value of 4 billion datapoints and 111,000 genomes for patients.

Using its fantastic platform, this BRC shall continue to collaborate with partners to deliver world-leading initiatives, for example:

  • Leading a ‘Participant Reanalysis’ of the 100KGP rare disease participants to leverage new diagnoses (including Sudden Cardiac Death) working with NHSE, other BRCs and >90 hospitals.
  • Supporting NHSE in evidence generation research for the National Genomic Test Directory for equitable NHS access (7 genomic laboratory hubs, >200 hospitals).

In addition to the overarching examples of innovation and partnership above, we have also achieved such within our BRC Research Themes, such as: 

Precision Cardiovascular Medicine

  • Our BRC partnership with St George’s leverages unique patient resources and world-leading expertise in multi- omics, AI analytics, functional genomics, inflammation to deliver on Precision Diagnosis (Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), inherited arrhythmias, myocarditis).
  • The charity ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’ supports the Cardiac-Pathology Centre at St George’s University London by supporting specialist cardiac pathology.
  • Our established collaboration on SCD in the Young through the NHS England and National Coronial Sudden Unexpected Death pilot and the national Rare Arrhythmia Syndrome Evaluation (RASE) consortium (>3000 heritable arrhythmia patients) comprises 18 partner NHS Trusts.
  • The Barts Charity heavily invests in our Precision-Medicine programme: £10m to multi-modal hospital patient datasets, £20m to cancer-programmes and £10.2m to Cardiovascular research.

Precision Cancer Care

  • Since 2013, Barts has a longstanding partnership with NHSE and GEL, optimising 400 molecular pathology fresh tissue pathways nationally for cancer WGS through the 100,000 Genomes Project and across 98 NHS Trusts acting as a key interface between the clinical/academic community.
  • This BRC will provide the Cancer Experimental Medicine Platform for optimisation of tumour multi-omics integrated with digital pathology and radiology. With NHSE will also create a Cell free tumour DNA (cfDNA) platform with Leicester and Oxford BRCs and NHS trusts to create a technology agnostic assessment platform to optimise this assay to detect residual disease, recurrence, or new tumours with NHS England.
  • St Bartholomew’s Hospital is one of 27 immunotherapy centres worldwide that F. Hoffmann-La Roche selected to participate in their imCORE network.
  • Our partnership with HistoGenex (CellCarta) investigates immunotherapy-related biomarkers in patient samples in trials (Biomarker discovery that will aid the development of new personalised treatment (biomarker discovery that will aid the development of new personalised treatments).
  • Commencing in 2013, the ground-breaking 100,000 Genomes Project established a partnership with BRCs to pilot/optimise tissue handling in cancer.

Precision Digital Health, Cardiovascular Devices and Trials

  • Our BRC partnership with University College London Hospital (UCLH) and transatlantic partners have device-based clinical trials collaborations.
  • With the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, we explore the creation of novel sensing device technologies. UCLH is an active member of the Barts Cardiovascular Devices Hub with UCL Bioengineering where we hold multiple collaborative projects and grant applications.
  • With major international Cardiovascular enterprises (including Europe’s leading simulation company), the BRC is planning to create a novel- prototyping/simulation centre linking industry digital-technologies. Other major industrial partners have committed to collaborate on our ‘digital twins’ initiative within this theme.

Precision Musculoskeletal Care

  • Barts/QMUL-MSK has a long-standing collaboration with Oxford University (Kennedy Institute) and the NHS as partners of Versus-Arthritis Centre of Excellence for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis (LancetRheumatol:2021).
  • We host MRC Industry-Collaboration Agreements (MICA) to partner Astra-Zeneca-Med-Immune/Genentech-Roche/NanoString/Precision Life and host multiple EU Innovative-Medicine Initiatives - 12 industry partners fully engaged in a suite of stratified biologic trials using synovial-pathotype working with AbbVie, Navidea, Pfizer.
  • Barts pioneered ultrasound-guided minimally invasive joint biopsy, created, and lead a biopsy network across UK/EU of 27- Centres participating in the stratified biologic trials enabling multi-omics, functional genomics, immunity & inflammation, AI analytics and clinical trials to accelerate translation into clinical practice in the NHS.
  • This platform enabled a suite of trials the first worldwide biopsy-driven, randomised-clinical trial programmes (MATURA/STRAP and NIHR R4RA - Lancet:2021) across the NHS and industry (6 large-Pharma partners).
  • MATURA was co-led by Barts and Manchester identifying synovial signatures linked to poor prognosis, therapeutic-response producing >25 joint publications, underpinning  >£15m grants awards.

NIHR Infrastructure and Collaborators

NIHR National Biosample Centre and BioResource

We currently store Barts BioResource samples at the NIHR-Biosample centre and propose to expand our contribution across multi-specialty areas. This will contribute to the BRCs health Informatics/deep phenotyping/imaging and federated BioResource development plans. Our broad-consent and patient recall is well established in multiple themes and we will endeavour to harmonise the (electronic) consenting process throughout the BRC. We continue to be an NIHR BioResource centre.

The Health Informatics Collaborative 

We are a founding member of NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative and continue to commit to data-sharing from our longitudinal life course BioResource – we demonstrated our ability to share data during the Covid pandemic where a ‘Covid-Dataset’ was quickly established and shared with UK government identified organisations/partners and companies such as Illumina/Sanger to develop novel techniques to diagnose and analyse the disease.

North Thames Collaboration for Clinical Research Network and Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care

This is one of the most successful such collaboratives hosted by Barts Health and we are directly linked to this so we can accelerate translation.

Translational Research Collaboratives

We are members of the NIHR-British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular; NIHR-Versus Arthritis Musculoskeletal and NIHR Oncology Translational Research Collaboratives (TRCs).

These TRCs are essential to:

  • increase the amount of collaborative research in thematic disease areas between relevant NIHR infrastructure (e.g., NIHR BRCs plus the NIHR BioResource, CRN and CRFs).
  • form an experimental/precision medicine platform with enhanced capabilities in drug, diagnostics, and device development in collaboration with industry and medical research funders.
  • enable science that needs the combined capabilities of different BRCs.
  • increase the amount of experimental and precision medicine in disease undertaken by industry with NIHR infrastructure.




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