Centre for Cardiovascular Science
The Centre for Cardiovascular Science (CVS) is engaged in world-leading research into cardiovascular diseases.
Co-located with the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School, the CVS relies on collaboration to both drive discoveries and deliver new solutions.
Dr James Dear, the Centre’s Reader in Clinical Pharmacology, comments on the role co-location plays in the Centre’s work – including a game-changing blood test – and his ambitions to be part of a growing BioQuarter.
“Co-locations are absolutely vital.” says Dr Dear, “I run clinical trials at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and I analyse samples using facilities across BioQuarter. That rapid flow of information – from the patients in the hospital to the University and back to the patients – greatly accelerates diagnoses.”
Beyond the physical proximity of patients, specialists and facilities, Dr Dear also recognises the importance of on-site data expertise. “Having the breadth of health informatics expertise here, for example, means we have the capacity for population studies that link the outcome with the patient. That’s a huge benefit.”
A recent success has seen the Centre develop a new biomarker application that is set to change the management of paracetamol toxicity. Dr Dear explains: “Annually, of the 100,000 people who overdose on paracetamol, around half will require hospital admission. Identifying, quickly, who needs treatment is crucial.
“Our new blood test significantly speeds up diagnosis. These tests have been extensively developed at the University then tested in Royal Infirmary patients. Now those biomarkers are being rolled out into clinical studies – and they’re being used in clinical practice by drug development companies.”
Collaboration at work
In treating paracetamol poisoning, Dr Dear and his colleagues have completed a phase 1 trial of a new drug. “The trial was run by the Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit here at BioQuarter,” says Dr Dear, “it also involved the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and the biomarker analysis was performed at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute – so a terrific example of co-location and collaboration. This trial, and our phase 2 study, simply wouldn’t be possible without the different specialities and people of interest on this site.”
As for his ambitions at BioQuarter, Dr Dear hopes on-site expansion plans will translate to increased commercial interest.
“The balance we have between support for companies and access to patients, data linkage and scientists is very strong. If BioQuarter can attract more and more companies it will empower us to create products from our research.”
“The trial was run by the Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit here at BioQuarter, and involved the hospital and the University –it simply wouldn’t be possible without the different specialities and people of interest on this site.”