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Deciphering the World of Clinical Trials: A Guide to Unveiling, Discovering, and Engaging

The topic of medicinal clinical trials is fascinating.

They are the secret ingredient behind revolutionary medical discoveries. Uplifted peels back the layers to understand what clinical trials are and learn about the process. Clinical trials aren’t just an opportunity to be part of cutting-edge medical research; they’re the key to unlocking transformative treatments and a crucial element in the healthcare ecosystem. At the heart of all research is a passionate team of people. A typical NHS researcher salary according to UK jobsites starts from around £18,900 to £34,628 – the figures tell us that these people are in this type of job as more of a ‘calling’ than for the earnings.


At the heart of all research is a passionate team of people

What Are Clinical Trials?

A clinical trial is a research study conducted with human volunteers to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new medical treatments or interventions. Clinical trials go through rigorous scientific protocols and phases, starting with preclinical testing in the lab, before proceeding to trials with human participants. Human clinical trials often start with small groups of people and gradually include more participants in larger trials. If a treatment is proven safe and effective in clinical trials involving hundreds or thousands of human volunteers, it may be approved for widespread therapeutic use.

How to Find Clinical Trials:

The easiest way to find clinical trials happening globally is to search an online clinical trial registry database. There are several large databases that house registration information on thousands of clinical trials in progress around the world. Some of the most comprehensive ones are, run by the National Library of Medicine in the US, the EU Clinical Trials Register, run by the European Medicines Agency, and the WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. These registries allow you to search for trials by health condition, location, status, sponsor and more. They contain both regulatory information as well as summaries of trial purpose, eligibility criteria and contact details for the research teams.

In addition to these centralised databases, many hospitals, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies run their own clinical trial finder portals on their websites. Browsing through these can uncover more local trials that individuals in specific geographic areas may be eligible for. Checking both the centralised registries as well as individual portals is the best way to gain visibility into the full landscape of global clinical trial activity for new treatments and medicines. Consider signing up for email alerts – many of these services will send notifications when new trials are added that match your search criteria.

The UK is home to world-renowned medical and research institutions like Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is a leading center for cutting-edge research and clinical innovation – recent advances include a breakthrough breast cancer therapy and a new one-shot radiotherapy for prostate cancer. Other top UK hospitals known for developing pioneering new treatments through clinical trials include The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust specializing in cancer therapies, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation trust which runs large-scale trials across many disease areas, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust which turns scientific breakthroughs into new therapies in fields like gene and cell therapy, cancer vaccines and regenerative medicine. The National Health Service and supporting research infrastructure enables NHS trusts to deliver groundbreaking therapies from clinical trials directly to patients.

OUH Main Image

OUH leading center for cutting-edge research and clinical innovation

How are Clinical Trials funded?

Clinical trials are funded through a variety of sources. Many clinical trials, especially the large pivotal trials required for FDA drug approval, are funded by the pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies that are developing the treatments being studied. These companies invest heavily in clinical trial funding in hopes of bringing profitable new therapies to market. The governmental National Institutes of Health provides significant funding for clinical trials as well, particularly for early phase trials or trials for rare diseases where commercial incentives are low. Research grants from other government bodies or non-profit organizations also support some clinical trial budgets. In addition, universities, hospitals, and research networks often provide infrastructure and staffing resources for clinical trial projects in their institutions. While sources vary, adequate funding for robust clinical trial design, participant safety monitoring, and high-quality data analysis is imperative for developing new evidence-based medical treatments with the aim of improving human health and better outcomes against diseases.

The University of Sheffield for example, is an insitute for translational neuroscience. A clinical trial for SMA has resulted in the institute successfully finding a gene therapy that enables children to reach more developmental milestones.

neurons wide

Neuroscience Institute at the University of Sheffield

Their research also includes :

Motor Neurone disease

Dementia and ageing

Parkinson’s disease


Multiple Sclerosis

Interested in any of the work going on – you can donate to this reserach at the institute- Click on the link for more information – Donations to the research at ‘Support us’ Sheffield University

The internet is a powerful tool for research, you could uncover opportunities and information that can help and support you or a loved one. Presenting information  and asking questions from your current healthcare provider is always a good thing and can help to keep you proactive in your approach to your condition.

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