Life Sciences event at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

On 2 November, CW+ and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust hosted a special Life Sciences event that focused on driving momentum in all aspects of clinical research, and the role of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in helping to achieve the government’s Life Sciences Vision.

The event brought together researchers, life science and commercial partners, donors and academics, who heard from sector leaders including Lord James O’Shaughnessy, author of HM Government Review of Commercial Clinical Trials, and Matthew Swindells, Chair of North West London Acute Provider Collaborative.

Due to the combined impact of Brexit, recruitment and immigration barriers, and global competition, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and regulatory challenges, life sciences have witnessed an industry-wide slowdown, and the UK has experienced a decline in world rankings. With the rise of transformative technologies and process automation, and the Life Sciences Vision and funding, however, there exists a real opportunity to stimulate a thriving life sciences sector in London and beyond.

The Life Sciences event at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital – ‘Ensuring a thriving clinical research sector in the UK’ – explored how, by working together, a robust and prosperous life sciences industry can be cultivated in the UK. It was also an opportunity to highlight the Trust’s proven track-record in clinical research, innovation and analytics, and reinforce its commitment to driving progress and growth across the sector – and fast.

Lord O’Shaughnessy presented on commercial clinical trials in the UK, and Matthew Swindells spoke about the importance of clinical research. Matthew Swindells also led a discussion on how we can work together to deliver a thriving UK life sciences industry, with panel members Lord O’Shaughnessy; Kasim Kutay, CEO of Novo Holdings; Dr Daniel Mahony, Chair of the UK BioIndustry Association; and Dr Marcela P Vizcaychipi, NIHR NWL CRN Lead for Anaesthesia, Perioperative Care and Pain Medicine. Finally, Dr Roger Chinn, Chief Medical Officer at the Trust, spoke about the Trust’s role in achieving the Life Sciences Vision.

Already renowned for its wealth of experience and expertise in clinical research, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is now committed to creating a world-class clinical research facility for Human Infection Challenge (HIC). This will enable the Trust to further evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines and drugs, which will help prepare for and respond quickly to future pandemics and create drug therapies that can halt the spread of infectious diseases.

Roger Chinn, Chief Medical Officer, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘This event highlights our Trust’s commitment to being at the forefront of important clinical research and an opportunity to shape our common goals, and importantly look ahead to future innovation for the benefit of providing better patient care.’

Chris Chaney, Chief Executive of CW+, opened and closed the event. He said: ‘This was a fantastic opportunity to bring together some of the key players involved in addressing the challenges our sector faces. We remain committed to playing our part in realising the national life sciences vision and I look forward to working with colleagues within and beyond our Trust on some of the plans and ideas that the event generated.’