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EMIG welcomes record NIHR figures for commercial contract clinical research


EMIG has today welcomed new figures released by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which show 2013-14 was a record year for life sciences research.

However, the figures, released by the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network, reveal a 26% increase in patients taking part in commercial contract studies on the previous year, with more than 96,000 patients taking part in trials during the past six years.

The number of days required to secure NHS permission for commercial contract studies has also reduced from a median of 55 calendar days in 2012-13 to just 26, meaning research can get underway faster, benefitting both patients and the industry.

The Network, which is funded by the Department of Health, is designed to support the delivery of both commercial contract and non-commercial clinical research studies in the NHS in England. In supporting 533 new commercial contract studies last year, the highest number since records began, the NIHR are helping to secure a flourishing life sciences sector in the UK.

Commenting on the figures EMIG R&D Director, Mark Edwards, said:

"These figures clearly demonstrate that the overall environment for clinical research in England is changing for the better. EMIG is hopeful this will continue to be the case, particularly with initiatives such as the Health Research Authority’s (HRA’s) plan to deliver a single approvals process.

The importance of a single ‘environment of excellence’ for the adoption and diffusion of health technologies, as well as for their R&D, cannot be overemphasised as it is a key vehicle for economic recovery, growth and inward investment. 

It is imperative innovative partnerships continue to develop between industry and the NHS, and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) are central to this. EMIG urges all parts of the NHS to nurture these relationships to ensure the UK continues to lead the way in terms of life sciences research and development.”


Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Leslie Galloway on:

T: 01604 813823


About EMIG (

EMIG is the research based biopharmaceutical trade association that represents the interests of over 200 companies and organisations based in the UK. Our members range from start-ups, whose prime focus is often research and development (R&D), to highly developed businesses delivering essential products to patients and the NHS. They are commonly, but not exclusively, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Less than 20% of our members are represented by other trade bodies. 

The UK life sciences industry provides vital medicines to patients, is at the forefront of medical innovation and is a significant contributor to the UK economy.  SMEs constitute approximately 90% of the total number of biopharmaceutical companies and it is estimated that 80% of innovation is derived from these small companies. EMIG member companies employ approximately 20,000 people in the UK and have a combined annual turnover of £4bn.


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