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Patient Recruitment Centre delighted to be PharmaField awards finalist for virtual trial success

NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Newcastle is delighted to have been a finalist in the PharmaField Innovation Awards (Team) for the RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial in partnership with EnteroMed Ltd.

The PharmaField Innovation Awards (Team) celebrate any team working in the UK Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industry, who have demonstrated outstanding tenacity, agility and impact with new and different approaches to the way they support customers and NHS organisations.

The nomination was thanks to successful collaboration between EnteroMed Ltd and the PRC who are together delivering the RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial.

The collaboration has led to rapid recruitment to one of the first fully virtual interventional clinical trials to be conducted in England. 

Virtual trials are remote access trials which use digital technology to allow recruitment to, and delivery of, clinical trials without the patient needing to visit a recruiting site - which could be miles from their home. This reduces risk in a pandemic environment and, equally importantly, empowers more patients to become involved regardless of their geography.

This has been a ground-breaking achievement for the NHS and could help to shape the future of research design and delivery, enabling more patients to access research opportunities and ensuring the UK is in a strong position to compete in the global research landscape.

Delivering the trial virtually has enabled us to recruit participants from across the UK, from near Inverness to Penzance, and from Northern Ireland in the west to East Norfolk in the East. This recruitment would not have been possible if we had not been able to recruit virtually. 

Professor Yan Yiannakou, Clinical Director at NIHR PRC: Newcastle said: “I am delighted to have been recognised as a finalist for the work we have done to deliver the RELIEVE IBS-D virtual trial. 

“Irritable bowel syndrome is common and causes much suffering, but the treatments for it are limited. We were determined to trial this new treatment and, despite the challenges, were able to do so because of three key factors: strong collaboration, a willingness to innovate and a keenness to listen to our patients.”