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Research Bulletin - September 2021 (Issue 67)


September marked World Alzheimer's month, and an opportunity to recognise the importance of research. Clinical research lead of NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia Dr Tom Russ spoke to Holyrood about the new Alzheimer's drug aducanumab which was trialled in hospitals across Scotland; and Professor Lis Neubeck of NRS Cardiovascular talked about the importance of protected time for research. 

Applicable to all research, new reporting standards that will require researchers to explain how they have fulfilled their transparency responsibilities have been set out by The Health Research Authority (HRA), and a new Think Ethics campaign has launched with the aim of making ethics reviews more innovative, efficient and trusted – building on many of the changes made to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In COVID-19 research, as booster vaccinations get underway, the data from the Cov-Boost study which was run at 18 sites across England, Scotland and Wales has helped to inform key decisions. Professor Emma Thomson, who leads on the study for the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, provides more information in an interview with The Alliance.

More generally, as changes to vaccine certification are being introduced in Scotland, NHS Research Scotland remains committed to ensuring clinical trial participants should be treated in the same way as those who have been fully vaccinated through the normal deployed vaccine routes, and should not be disadvantaged due to taking part in a clinical trial. To support this, clinical trial participant information has been published on NHS Inform and work continues to ensure the vaccine status of trial participants is correctly presented on the coronavirus vaccine database.

Also this month: registration is open for NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia Conference, and NRS Genetics Conference; the British Heart Foundation has launched a call for applications to fund research into the use of advanced analytics to improve cardiovascular care delivery and outcomes; the ABPI have published their annual Clinical Trials report; the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) alongside the RS Macdonald Charitable Trust, have announced successful applicants to the Scottish Seedcorn Fund for Neurological Research; and new reports on CSO funded research projects have been published on stroke, COVID-19improving the outcomes of clinical trials. Event registration is also open for the upcoming and much more. 

The COVID-19 pages on the NRS website continue to be updated, and as always, your ideas, feedback and contributions are welcome.
Record of vaccination status for clinical trial participants
Clinical trial participants have the same vaccine status as people vaccinated through the NHS programme, but the process to access their record is different. Work is ongoing to ensure participants' status is correctly presented on the vaccine database.
Read more
Cov-Boost study informs UK booster programme  
Initial data made available to the JCVI, based on data from the Cov-Boost study, indicates that booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines are generally well tolerated and provide a substantial increase in vaccine-induced immune response. Read more
Cov-Boost - the UK's COVID booster vaccine study
Professor Emma Thomson (NHS GGC) talks to The ALLIANCE about Cov-Boost, the UK's COVID booster vaccine study.
 Watch here
Husband and wife support ENGAGE study
Taking part in a clinical trial was a family affair for husband and wife Phil and Helen Theaker. Helen took part in the ENGAGE study – an international study to determine whether a new investigational medication, Aducanumab, can slow the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease. Read more
NRS NDN speaks to Holyrood Magazine
Clinical Lead for NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia (NDN), Dr Tom Russ, speaks to Holyrood Magazine about the groundbreaking MND-SMART trial, and the new Alzheimer's drug aducanumab, which was trialled in hospitals across Scotland
 Read more
NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia Conference
The Conference will take place on 3 December 2021, both in-person and via livestream. Delegates will hear about the launch of the new NRS NDN strategy, recent developments in  research, and more. Registration is now open
Embedding research in practice - Holyrood Magazine
Professor Lis Neubeck of NRS Cardiovascular Disease Network writes in Holyrood Magazine on the importance of ensuring protected time for research. Read More
Moves to make research transparency the norm
New reporting standards have been implemented to ensure that all researchers fulfil their responsibilities to make their research open and transparent. Read more
New guidance for pathology in clinical trials
National Cancer Research Institute's (NCRI) Cellular Molecular Pathology Initiative (CMPath), has published guidance to address the variability in how pathology is planned and delivered in clinical trials.
Read more 
ABPI annual Clinical Trials report published
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has published its annual report for 2021. "Clinical research in the UK: an opportunity for growth" can now be read on the ABPI website. Read more
HRA launches "Think Ethics" campaign
The HRA "Think Ethics" campaign aims to put people who participate in research at heart of ethics review – prompting changes both to what is expected of researchers and how ethics committees review research. Read More
BHF announce funding call
The British Heart Foundation have announce an upcoming call for applications to fund research in the use of advanced analytics to improve cardiovascular care. Applications are open from September to Late November 2021. Read more
NRS Genetics reschedule conference
NRS Genetics and Scottish Clinical Genetics Forum will hold the rescheduled conference on 17 March 2021. The event will take place at the Malmaison, Dundee. Read More
SBRI Competition 19 now open 
SBRI are now accepting applications for two funding competitions - the first on NHS Reset and Recovery and New Ways of Working, the second on Mental Health Inequalities in Children and Young People.  
Successful Neurological funding applicants announced
9 projects have been successful in their application to the Scottish Seedcorn Fund for Neurological Research. More details, including the full list of projects, are available on the CSO website. Read more
Research published - the ORINOCO project
Optimising Resource-use IN Outcome Collection, also known as the ORINOCO Project, aims to see if, and where, efficiencies can be made in outcome collection as part of trials. Read more
Research published - We Walk For Stroke
CSO have published their report on the We Walk project, which aims to promote the uptake and maintenance of outdoor walking after stroke.
Read more
Research published - Rapid Research in COVID-19
A research team based at the University of Strathclyde have developed a COVID-19 detection test of similar quality to the LateralFlow test, which could be manufactured for 20p vs the £5 cost of an LFT. Read more
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NHS Research Scotland (NRS) is a partnership of Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) of Scottish Government. NHS Research Scotland Central Management Team is hosted by Scottish Health Innovations Ltd (Ltd).

Registered Number: SC 236303. Registered address: The Golden Jubilee National Hospital, Fourth Floor East, Agamemnon St, Clydebank, G81 4DY 

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