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NIHR partners with the British Heart Foundation in world-leading cardiovascular research

Published: 26 June 2018

The NIHR and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have officially launched a new partnership that will bring together the country’s leading cardiovascular researchers in the search for new treatments for heart and circulatory disease.  

More than a quarter (26 per cent) of all deaths in the UK are due to cardiovascular (heart and circulatory) disease; that’s over 150,000 deaths each year – an average of 420 people each day. In addition to this, there are around 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.

The new NIHR-BHF Cardiovascular Partnership brings together experts funded by the NIHR and the BHF to work on early and exploratory drug development for new diagnostics, treatments and cures aimed at improving these shocking statistics.

The NIHR’s early translational infrastructure which is at the core of this partnership has significant expertise and capabilities in cardiovascular science. The NIHR has committed over £41.5 million from 2017 - 2022 in cardiovascular research through a number of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), which are supported by NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs).

The BHF is the largest independent funder of research into heart and circulatory diseases in the UK and is actively looking at new ideas and ways of working to deliver maximum benefits to its patients through research.

This partnership unites the NIHR BRCs along with all of the 26 BHF Professors in England, and the four BHF Centres of Research Excellence to advance the scientific and research agenda in cardiovascular diseases, ultimately translating scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for those affected by cardiovascular disease.

Dr Lucy Allen, Head of Collaborations at the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, said: “By uniting the expertise of the NIHR and the BHF, we have the power to accelerate drug discovery and improve patient care for those with cardiovascular disease.”

Professor Keith Channon, Chair of the BHF-NIHR Cardiovascular Partnership and Director of the NIHR Oxford BRC, commented: “We have World-leading scientists in heart and circulatory diseases, by linking the NIHR and BHF investments more effectively with clinical researchers we can achieve major advances for patients and the NHS”

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, added: “I am delighted to announce our new partnership with the NIHR which will bring greater coordination between researchers, funders, professional bodies and patient groups. We at the BHF hope that the partnership will accelerate the adoption of new treatments and technologies, as well as contributing to greater research impact than we could achieve on our own."

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