Published: 01 October 2021
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This document provides a fully accessible transcript for the video: FOCUS4: A flagship clinical trial
Text on screen: The FOCUS4 trial: Foundations for fighting COVID19
Text on screen: FOCUS4 is a milestone in the development of the UK’s research culture
I was involved back in the setting up with research networks back in 1998 I started the Wales Cancer Trials Network, and then we set up the NCRN and I was on the steering group with Peter Selby and then so on right back to the early days. And I do think that all of that background... Because really the CRN enabled the delivery of RECOVERY, enabled all of the staff, your staff, the NIHR CRN staff, who actually did the work and all these COVID trials, that's a really important point to make and it's on the back 20 years investment in a research delivery culture in the NHS, and it's absolutely the proof of the pudding or whatever the expression is. This is the evidence that all this investment down the years as is there and it was able to be used when an emergency came and it was resilient to that emergency.
Text on screen: The NIHR Clinical Research Network is embedded in the NHS
I think that's... That would be the first point I would make about the CRN, the development of the CRN, happened to have a trained workforce in every hospital in the country and in primary care ready to roll, and it could be adapted to this emergency. The second point is the MAMS, the adaptive design. And the MRC with STAMPEDE, opened the door to that and that happened in about 2001 or two or something. So, it's quite soon after the NCRN. That's been hugely successful and it's really shown the way these things can be done.
Text on screen: The STAMPEDE trial marks a turning point in a trial design
Plus the adaptive design methodology, has come in and to be taken up by other disciplines. So, the building of the CRN, the building of the adaptive design methodology, and then you've got the overlay of the precision medicine and the stratification, which came in as another layer on top of that. So, that's what FOCUS4 and Matrix were doing. They were building a third tier onto this, that was the molecular stratification and using adaptive methodologies, slightly different adaptive methodologies, but still it was building on the CRN using adaptive methodologies, but with stratification.
Text on screen: The UK continues to be a world leader in COVID19 clinical research
So, I think that will be... That to me is what's has happened over the last 20 years and RECOVERY is just a fantastic example of the whole of the research infrastructure, which NIHR has built suddenly turning its attention to an emergency.
Text on screen: NIHR. For more information visit: www.nihr.ac.uk