The clinical trial stage of the development of medicines - where treatments are tested, firstly on healthy volunteers and then on patients - is a vital element in the research process. The new body aims to speed up the development of new medicines from the laboratory to the patient by expanding the number and range of clinical trials.
"This will be a further major boost to the clinical research infrastructure in this country, making it even more competitive internationally," said Dr Trevor Jones, Director General of the ABPI.
"It is especially important that the industry has been welcomed as a significant partner in the establishment of UKCRC and will be able to contribute its vast experience in this area."
The Government has announced an initial £24 million to establish new NHS research networks in five key areas - Alzheimer's, stroke, diabetes, mental health and children's medicine.
"Clinical trial work in children - especially babies and the very young - is a particularly difficult and sensitive area, so it is doubly pleasing that money is being allocated to this work," said Dr Jones. Dr Jones is a member of the UKCRC.
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