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Diagnostics North East

Moving patient treatment forward through Diagnostics North East

Published on: 11 April 2018

A platform bringing together world-leading diagnostic resources and expertise to develop new and innovative technologies to improve patient health and wellbeing has been launched.

Diagnostics North East will support researchers, clinicians and industry to position the region at the forefront of technology and innovation in medical diagnostics.

The platform aims to support both industry and academia and addresses the need for robust research, development, evaluation and adoption when it comes to the introduction of new patient diagnostic tests and devices. 

Professor John Simpson at the launch of Diagnostics North East
Professor John Simpson at the Diagnostics North East launch

Exciting initiative

More than 200 industry representatives and healthcare professionals attended the platform’s launch to hear of the exciting new initiative, which is unique in providing concentrated expertise across all key elements of the diagnostics pathway – discovery, development, evaluation, adoption into the NHS, and advanced horizon scanning for future opportunities.

The partnership is built upon strong collaborations and access to the outstanding clinical facilities in the North East and will result in better diagnostic tests being more rapidly available to patients.  

Diagnostics North East is a collaboration between the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), Newcastle University, and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor John Simpson, Dean of Translational Research and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Newcastle University, said: “The unique diagnostics infrastructure in the region allows us to address every requirement in bringing better diagnostic tests to patients more rapidly. Our joined up approach in a single region provides industry and academia with unrivalled access to diagnostics expertise tailored to their individual needs.

“Our strong collaboration, allied to first class clinical facilities and a strong culture of clinical research, is ideally placed to accelerate the pathway from innovation through to patient benefit.”

The launch provided industry representatives and healthcare professionals with opportunities to meet key experts and to discuss how they can support the development, evaluation and adoption of technologies into healthcare systems. Delegates left with information about how they can partner with and access the world-class resources available.

Collaborative working

Dr Michael Wright, Deputy Medical Director of Newcastle Hospitals, and associate clinical lecturer at Newcastle University, said: “We welcome this very exciting initiative which will help us to provide even better services for patients in the North East and across the whole of the NHS.  This will help us to develop even stronger collaborations with colleagues in Newcastle University, the AHSN NENC and industry.”

Professor Julia Newton, Medical Director at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), said: “Diagnostics North East represents the effective partnership between NHS, academia and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria.

“I am delighted that our enthusiasm for this collaborative work was recognised at the launch of Diagnostics North East.”

The launch included guest speakers from a variety of renowned organisations including: Newcastle University, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NIHR, MHRA, NorthStar Ventures, Innovate UK and NHS Improvement.

Diagnostics North East – the resources

Diagnostics North East 

Newcastle University Single Cell Unit
Newcastle University Single Cell Unit (NUSCU) is an MRC and University funded core facility initiative with a mission statement to provide a comprehensive solution to researchers wanting to perform single cell analysis at the genomic, transcriptomic and protein level.

Cellular Pathology (CEPA) Biobank
CEPA facilitates the supply of tissue, on a cost recovery basis, to support a broad range of research in an ethical manner, including the supply of tissue to commercial companies for quality control and method development purposes.

Genomics and Genetics
Clinical and laboratory services for genetic diseases are fully integrated in specialist facilities at the Northern Genetics Service. The GCF  is a state of the art laboratory experienced in service delivery for the academic, clinical and commercial sectors and resourced to operate at production scale, providing data for pilot projects through to large investment discovery research programmes.

Newcastle MRC/EPSRC Molecular Pathology Node
The Medical Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded Newcastle Molecular Pathology Node, one of six centres in the UK, has been established to bring together researchers, clinicians and industry to drive forward advances in precision medicine and develop the next generation of Molecular Pathologists.

NIHR Newcastle In vitro diagnostics Co-operative
The newly established NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Newcastle MIC) independently evaluates the clinical usefulness and cost of in vitro diagnostic test (IVDs) and diagnostic medical devices with a view to accelerating adoption of good diagnostics into the NHS. 

Centre for In Vivo Imaging
The Newcastle University Centre for In Vivo Imaging (CIVI) focuses on developing and applying novel imaging techniques for patient benefit, with a particular focus on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).

NICE External Assessment Centre (EAC)
The EAC is a partnership between The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) and is commissioned by NICE to provide independent assessment of the evidence for innovative medical devices and associated economic analysis of the impact of such technology adoption in the NHS. 

Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria
The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria(AHSN NENC) is dedicated to improving healthcare and supporting wealth creation through partnership working and promotion of innovation across the NHS, academia and industry. The AHSN facilitates adoption and diffusion of diagnostics within Diagnostics North East.

NIHR Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO)
NIHRIO is the national medical horizon scanning facility located at Newcastle University. NIHRIO constantly tracks markets, publications, and patents in order to identify evolving trends in the diagnostics space, so that promising, nascent technologies can be assisted through to evaluation and adoption more readily .

Newcastle Laboratories
Laboratory Medicine in The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust carries out over 11 million tests each year and undertakes laboratory testing for NHS hospitals regionally and nationally. It also provide laboratory services to a wide range of non-NHS organisations including occupational health departments in local government, police forces and academic organisations as well as to independent social research agencies, Premiership football clubs, healthcare waste specialists and research laboratories.




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