News & Events from 2022

World-first trial could see stem cell transplants offered as first-line treatment for patients with ‘aggressive’ multiple sclerosis

Photo of Prof Basil Sharrack

A world-first trial investigating if stem cell transplantation should be used in patients with highly active multiple sclerosis failing drug treatment or as a first-line treatment for patients with the aggressive multiple sclerosis has been launched by researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield’s Clinical Trials Research Unit.

The £2.3m StarMS study, which has opened its doors to patients in Sheffield and is being launched in multiple sites across the UK, will be the first to compare how effectively autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) is when compared head-to-head with four other highly effective drug treatments which have shown great promise in clinical trials (alemtuzumab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab and cladribine).

The trial will build on the results of the landmark MIST trial which was the first in the world to show that stem cell transplantation could reverse disability in patients with multiple sclerosis. This trial also showed that AHSCT worked better than the disease-modifying drugs available at the time in reducing the risk of disability accumulation in patients with the highly active form of the disease.

You can read more about the study on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals news page.

(November 2022)

Your Path in Research - add research to your career

This November we are taking part in the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Your Path in Research  campaign which highlights how people can make research part of their career. 

Better research leads to better services for the public. That’s why the NIHR want to encourage organisations and social care and public health professionals to play an active role in research, as a way to deliver even better services.

Read more about their campaign on the NIHR website. You can also read more about how the CRF in Sheffield are supporting this campaign.

(November 2022)

NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has received a £12 million funding boost. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has received a £12 million funding boost which will help the centre improve early diagnosis, develop new treatments and improve outcomes for patients with a range of medical conditions, in a region with significant inequalities for health and life-expectancy.

A partnership between the University of Sheffield (UoS) and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STH), the NIHR Sheffield BRC is dedicated to improving the health and care of people, and ensuring patients across the country have the opportunity to take part in, and benefit from, cutting-edge research studies.

In addition to the world-renowned neurological research already conducted at the centre, the new funding will allow researchers to expand their investigations into other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and inflammatory and infectious diseases.

Over the next five years researchers will be working to improve early diagnosis for pulmonary vascular disease, care pathways for patients living with HIV, outcomes for cardiovascular disease patients, and develop new vaccines for infectious diseases.

The centre will also apply the world-leading expertise of imaging researchers, engineers and data scientists at the University of Sheffield to harness the value of NHS data to understand disease prevalence in the region and improve disease prevention and health outcomes.

You can read more about this on the NIHR Sheffield BRC news page or on the University of Sheffield news page.

(October 2022)

Efmody® treatment for patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) recommended as a treatment option within NHS Wales 

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) have announced the recommendation of Efmody® as a treatment option for restricted use in adolescents and adults with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) within NHS Wales. Those affected by CAH are at increased risk of developing childhood obesity, insulin resistance, and polycystic ovaries.

NIHR Sheffield CRF jointly led a pipeline of studies, sponsored and funded by Diurnal, DIUR-005 between 2016 and 2018 and the open-label follow on trial DIUR-006 in February 2022 investigating efficacy, safety and tolerability of Chronocort compared with standard glucocorticoid replacement therapy in the treatment of CAH.

NIHR Sheffield CRF provided the required infrastructure and expertise, including experienced research nurses trained in all the necessary skills to complete highly intensive patient-facing activities in early research trials DIUR-005 and DIUR-006.

Chronocort was approved by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in July 2021, under the name Efmody®, for the treatment of CAH in adult and adolescent patients (12+ years).

For more information, follow the links below:

(October 2022)

'Truly remarkable drug' helps motor neurone disease patients

Scientists believe a new genetically-targeted therapy to treat motor neurone disease (MND) could be a turning point for patient care, after the results of a Phase 3 clinical trial showed significant physical benefits for patients after 12 months.

Researchers from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) found that patients with a faulty SOD1 gene - responsible for two per cent of MND cases - noticed that the progression of their symptoms slowed down 12 months after taking the investigational drug tofersen.

Sheffield was the only UK site involved in the research, which took place at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility.

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals news page or on the NIHR news page.

(September 2022)

NIHR statement on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Photo of Queen Elizabeth II

We at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) offer our sincerest condolences to the royal family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We share in the grief of the whole nation at the death of our remarkable monarch, and reflect with great pride upon her incredible reign.

(September 2022)

Leading research into effective treatment of neuropathic pain could mean improved quality of life for diabetes patients

Researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STH) are hopeful that diabetes patients suffering with neuropathic pain could benefit as a result of findings from the largest and longest ever neuropathic pain trial in the world. Diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP) is caused by a type of nerve damage which may result in severe pain in the feet, legs and hands. Neuropathic pain, most commonly described as a burning or electric shock-like sensation, can be intractable and debilitating.

Affecting up to a quarter of people with diabetes, it can cause severe disruption to daily activities and may lead to depression, anxiety, lack of sleep and a poor quality of life.

The OPTION-DM trial, which was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), is the largest and longest ever, head-to-head, crossover neuropathic pain trial in the world. Findings will inform future treatment guidelines, not only for neuropathic pain in diabetes patients, but chronic neuropathic pain treatment in general. 

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals news page.

(August 2022)

Photo of the diabetes team

#Red4Research 2022 - Friday 17 June

Photos of CRF staff for Red4Research

#Red4Research Day takes place this year on Friday 17 June 2022. 

The day aims to get as many people as possible wearing red to demonstrate their support and appreciation for all those participating, undertaking and supporting COVID-19 and other research. It is an opportunity to showcase the phenomenal work, learning legacy and the new innovative research systems/techniques that have arisen.

We are proud to support this here in Sheffield.

(June 2022)

Panel Discussion Event - International Clinical Trials Day 2022: People Power

In support of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Be Part of Research campaign and International Clinical Trials Day 2022, there will be a free panel discussion event on the 9 June discussing the vital contribution of patients and the public to healthcare research. 

An expert panel of clinicians and researchers from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield will be discussing the importance of involving patients and the public in clinical trials and research. The panel will look at the invaluable contribution that patients and members of the public make to the development of healthcare treatments and interventions, and the work that still needs to be done to make health research fully inclusive and representative. 

For more information and to book your place visit the Public Engagement page on the University of Sheffield website.

(May 2022)

International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) - 20 May 2022

International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) is is an annual event that commemorates the work of James Lind, who pioneered clinical research with the first ever research trial on the disease scurvy.  

In 2022, ICTD takes place on Friday 20 May. To celebrate, throughout that week we have shared some profiles and quotes written by staff in various roles here at the Sheffield CRF. 

To find out more visit our ICTD 2022 page.

(May 2022)

Staff holding up a banner

Be Part of Research - TrialBlazers

The Be Part of Research TrialBlazers campaign celebrates the community of research volunteers. The thousands of people who take part in, and support trials and studies all over the UK.

TrialBlazers are people just like you. By volunteering in research, we help people live healthier and better lives, now and in the future. 

Come and join the TrialBlazers.  

For more information visit the Be Part of Research website.

(May 2022)

NIHR changes name to emphasise long-term commitment to social care research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has changed its name. To emphasise our enduring commitment to social care research, the NIHR has officially become the ‘National Institute for Health and Care Research’. The acronym ‘NIHR’ will remain unchanged. 

You can read more about this on the NIHR website.

(April 2022)

NIHR Sheffield CRF awarded £7.9m to continue cutting edge medical research

The NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals has been awarded £7.9m in funding which will support the development and testing of new treatments for diseases, many of which currently have no cure.

The funding, announced by the National Institute for Health & Care Research (NIHR) this week (28 February 2022), will go to the Sheffield NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) based at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and run in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

You can read more about this on the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals news page.

(February 2022)

Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine trial targeting the Omicron Variant

Moderna is conducting a clinical trial, called the mRNA-1273-P305 clinical trial, on an investigational booster vaccine that may protect against the COVID-19 Omicron variant, and you may be eligible to take part. The mRNA-1273-P305 clinical trial is evaluating the safety and immune response of the investigational mRNA-1273.529 booster vaccine compared to a booster dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax.

This trial is enrolling volunteers 16 years of age or older who are in good or stable health and have received two or three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago.

Participation in this trial lasts up to 13 months and includes phone calls and approximately 5-7 scheduled visits to the trial site. Participants will receive a single dose of either investigational booster vaccine, mRNA-1273.529, or the already authorized vaccine, Spikevax.

To learn more, please visit 

(February 2022)