Research undertaken at the Centre for Intellectual and Developmental
Disabilities(CIDD), has significantly impacted upon:
Our research showed that powered rotation oscillation toothbrushes were
superior to manual toothbrushes for the removal of plaque and reduction of
gingivitis. This information has had impacts on national public policy, on
commerce and on society.
Starting from a mechanism-based hypothesis, Alastair Compston and
colleagues in Cambridge
have led the academic development of Alemtuzumab as a highly effective
therapy for relapsing-remitting
multiple sclerosis through Phase 1, 2 and two Phase 3 trials (1991-2012).
The impacts to
date are demonstration of the importance of the therapeutic `window of
opportunity' in treating
multiple sclerosis; a product licence in the European Union (September
2013) for the commonest
potentially disabling neurological disease of young adults; expansion of
the work-force in industry
to develop and market this initiative; and an estimated several-fold
increase in revenue to the
University of Cambridge (and other beneficiaries) from total royalties of
£18.6M from 1997 to date.
In 2007, as part of a major update of the national alcohol strategy, the
UK Government announced that it would commission an independent national
review of the evidence on the relationship between alcohol price,
promotion and harm. Subsequently, in 2008, researchers from the University
of Sheffield (UoS) were commissioned by the UK Department of Health (DoH)
for an `Independent Review of the Effects of Alcohol Pricing and
The UoS research has played a crucial role in informing the debate and
deliberations on the available Government options for interventions on
alcohol consumption in England and Wales, by providing a robust evidence
base to underpin the debate. The UoS research findings have been used to
inform policy by senior decision-making bodies e.g. the House of Commons
Health Select Committee and the UK Chief Medical Officer to inform policy.
The findings have also stimulated the potential for policy intervention
beyond England and Wales, e.g. in Scotland and Australia.
Alternatives to acute admission in mental health are crucial, not least
because of the high cost of inpatient care. We have carried out a major
research programme that includes the only randomised controlled evaluation
of crisis resolution teams and the only major UK study of crisis houses,
which are community-based, residential alternatives to hospital admission.
This programme demonstrated the efficacy of community treatment and has
significantly influenced decision making at a local and national policy
level, including commissioning guidance and three sets of NICE guidelines.
This has contributed to changes in the way acute services for severely
mentally ill adults are configured in the NHS, and internationally.
Our research on alternatives to medication in the treatment of childhood
epilepsy has resulted in
increasing rates of surgery with better outcomes, and a new clinical
service — the national
Children's Epilepsy Surgery Service (CESS) — being commissioned in England
and Wales. We
have also developed an evidence base for ketogenic dietary therapy,
resulting in an increase in
service provision. Many more patients are benefiting from this therapy,
which is now recommended
in NICE guidelines. Throughout our programme of research we have engaged
with charities and
patient groups to disseminate the results of our research as widely as
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a major cause of death in older men,
in the UK and elsewhere. A large UK trial led by the University of
Cambridge evaluated the long-term benefits of ultrasound screening for AAA
in men aged 65-74 years. This provided the basis for the introduction of a
UK national AAA screening programme in men aged 65; this was announced in
2008, initiated in 2009, and achieved full coverage of England in 2013.
Similar screening has started in Sweden, New Zealand and in parts of
Italy, and is being actively discussed in Denmark, Norway and Finland.
As a result of University of Sheffield research in 1995-2002, a new gold
standard treatment for major bleeding on warfarin has been established,
ensuring the more effective treatment of tens of thousands of patients
requiring emergency anticoagulation reversal each year in the UK alone.
The treatment, using prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) was
demonstrated to be superior to fresh frozen plasma (FFP), the standard
alternative at the time, and two PCCs have now been licensed for this
indication in the UK.
UK and international guidelines now recommend PCC over FFP.
The decision about whether to fund new health care interventions is
increasingly being informed by
evidence of cost-effectiveness in terms of the cost per Quality Adjusted
Life Years (QALY). The
SF-6D health index is widely used internationally for calculating QALYs
from patient reported
health outcomes collected in clinical trials and other surveys. It
contributes to health system
efficiency from being used by health technology agencies around the
world (including Australia,
Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland and Norway) to calculate QALYs to
facilitate decisions about
the most efficient use of limited health care resources. The SF-6D is
freely available to non-commercial
bodies, including researchers and policy makers. Commercial benefits
come from the
licensing of the measure to pharmaceutical companies, health insurers and
others to assess the
cost-effectiveness of their products with 460 licenses being sold since
2008. A further 521 licenses
are distributed on a non-commercial basis to academic researchers, public
sector and charitable
Research led by Dr Holmes has identified a novel variant of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA) in livestock. This represents a previously unidentified reservoir of infection which
has had impact on the epidemiology of MRSA and its management. This research also impacts on
antibiotic use in agriculture and its role in the emergence of antibiotic resistance. As a
consequence of these research findings commercial tests and testing protocols have been
developed to detect the new MRSA variant, which are now used widely in clinical settings
throughout Europe. The discovery has also been used to inform policy decisions at a governmental
level in the USA and Europe.