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        February / 2021

GM plays key role in 89.3% effective Novavax vaccine

Greater Manchester played a significant part in the interim results which show the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is 89.3% effective. Over 1,240 participants are part of the trial at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA).

Both sites were supported by staff from across local partner organisations as part of a true GM-wide effort. Congratulations to everyone involved in this landmark achievement. 

Other excellent GM COVID-19 vaccine strategy news:
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust exceeded its recruitment target (405 participants) for the Janssen two-dose vaccine trial. 
  • NCA finished recruitment to the AstraZeneca PROVENT monoclonal antibody trial (92 participants), with the STORM CHASER study ongoing. 
  • A number of upcoming trials are in the pipeline for potential delivery in Greater Manchester. 
There are now over 22,000 citizens in GM and East Cheshire signed-up to the NHS COVID-19 vaccine research registry. CRN GM has created this video to thank them all - and encourage further participation. 

The NIHR message remains: Trials must continue to find vaccines for all.
Join the vaccine research registry

Mobile pharmacy unit

COVID-19 vaccine trials and other research is to become more accessible than ever for residents across GM thanks to a new mobile pharmacy. The bespoke vehicle, funded by the Vaccine Task Force following a successful CRN GM bid, will be managed by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and operate across GM to increase participation opportunities.

LCRN contract extended

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the extension of the NIHR Local Clinical Research Network contracts, including that of CRN Greater Manchester. The contracts for the LCRNs have been extended for a further year from April 2023 until the end of March 2024.

Research for the Future campaign expansion

A reminder that our CRN GM colleagues at Research for the Future have expanded their service to enable anyone aged 18-plus to register their interest in being part of all types of health and care research. This is in addition to the "Help BEAT" campaigns focusing on areas of particular disease interest.

Your CPD accreditation for consenting to UPH

NIHR has introduced the COVID Consenting Initiative in order to present anyone who has consented
participants to Urgent Public Health studies with a certificate for inclusion in their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) portfolios. Log into NIHR Learn, using your NHS or institute email addresses, to download the certificate.

Increase in commercial opportunities

Analysis of new research opportunities submitted via the NIHR commercial feasibility services continues to show a significant and sustained increase in volume. The latest activity for December 2020 is summarised in this infographic.

One year of UPH research for COVID-19

January 24th marked 12 months since the first Urgent Public Health study, ISARIC4C or CCP, opened. Prof Callum Semple, Chief Investigator for this CRN GM-led study, recorded a video message to thank everyone who's been involved so far. There have been over 16,400 participants across GM, East Cheshire and East Lancashire to date.

GM passes 1,000 responses to PRES

GM now has more than 1,000 responses to the 2020/21 Participant Research Experience Survey (PRES). R&I teams are encouraged to give as many patients as possible the opportunity to provide feedback via the survey. This flyer can link patients directly to the form via a QR code. Queries to Janet Eastwood.

Register for masterclass in grant applications

An "Essential Guide to Grant Applications" masterclass is open to research colleagues in Greater Manchester. The online session, hosted by NIHR Research Design Service in the South Central region, takes place from March 2 to 4. Registration and further information is via Eventbrite.

Latest recruitment data

A total of 50,090 participants have been recruited to CRN Portfolio studies across Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire so far in 2020/21. The participants have been recruited across 510  studies. A full data report is available here. A further report, showing Urgent Public Health, vaccine and RESTART data, is available here.

NIHR Manchester BRC

The latest NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Director's Blog with Professor Ian Bruce is now available. In the February edition of "Bridging the Gap", Prof Bruce takes a look at the #MCRinnovator scheme, training and development, as well as the latest news from across the BRC.

RECOVERY trial findings will save lives

Congratulations to all staff involved in the RECOVERY trial which has shown that tocilizumab, an anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis treatment, reduces the risk of death for hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19. Over 2,160 patients have taken part in the trial across GM, East Cheshire and East Lancashire.

RECOVERY remains a highest level priority. Thank you to all trusts for their continued recruitment, which is summarised in the latest national CRN report (please ignore the 'draft' watermark on this document).

Other COVID-19 research findings: UPH Priorities: NIHR continues to place the greatest emphasis on Urgent Public Health (UPH) Level 1a Priority Studies. In the past month, ISARIC4C and SIREN have been given Level 1a status.

UPH recruitment data: More than 27,900 participants have been part of COVID-19 research across GM, East Cheshire and East Lancashire. A full report is available here.

Signposting to the PRINCIPLE trial

The PRINCIPLE trial is urgently seeking Greater Manchester and East Cheshire participants for this highest priority study - which is aiming to find COVID-19 treatments for the over 50s that can be taken at home.

Researchers are looking for medicines that can help people with COVID-19 symptoms get better quickly and stop them needing to go to hospital.

PRINCIPLE is particularly accessible because participants can sign-up through the study website - and through a number of local GP practices.

Patients may be suitable for this NIHR-supported platform trial if they are:
  • aged 65+
  • OR aged 50-64 with a health condition
  • AND have COVID-19 symptoms
Useful promotional materials for PRINCIPLE: Explainer video / social media graphic / GIF for social media / social media content template / patient-facing poster
Resilience, Recovery and Growth

The NIHR has issued its latest - and final - update on the implementation of the Restart Framework. This workstream is now called Resilience, Recovery and Growth.

The latest data showing the progress of restarting CRN Portfolio studies nationally and in GM can be viewed from page 10 in this report.

Sharing best practice: A selection of case studies from NIHR-supported R&I teams across the country has been compiled to provide best practice advice and key learnings for all.

Keeping patients safe: NIHR has been working to assure patients by setting out what action has been taken to keep them safe in their research appointments. R&I teams can make use of this new video created for patients.

Learning and development

NIHR Good Clinical Practice is currently provided as online learning only, with some face-to-face events prioritised where appropriate learning space can be provided.

Full details of our current Learning and Development offering are available here. Please contact with any queries.

JDR marks 6th birthday

NIHR's Join Dementia Research was 6 years old on February 24. So far 50,000 volunteers have signed-up and 48,000 have enrolled on to studies - including 16,000 since the pandemic started. Celebrate with us and share this card with people you know who might be interested in research into dementia. Maybe you know six potential volunteers?

Local authority pre-doctoral fellowship

CRN GM is co-hosting a workshop to support people with applications for the NIHR Academy's pre-doctoral fellowship scheme. The pilot scheme is designed for those working in local authorities and local authority supporting services. Our regional workshop to support applicants will take place online on 4 March.

Public Health research programme workshop

Do you have an idea for a Public Health research project? If you are thinking of applying for an award from the NIHR Public Health Research Programme, register now for a free half-day session, hosted by the NIHR Research Design Service, on 28 April.

Podcast discusses key COVID-19 learnings

A new NIHR podcast series gives an insight into some of the key learning points from the COVID-19 pandemic. Four episodes of "Innovation in Trial Design and Study Delivery during the COVID pandemic" are now available. Listen and download via Soundcloud.

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