A Cheshire-based mobile healthcare specialist has forged international links with a US firm to provide commercial clinical trials through a network of mobile sites in the UK.

Ellesmere Port-based EMS Healthcare was founded in 2013 to provide much needed additional capacity to the NHS and private healthcare providers.

The business now owns and manages one of the UK’s most extensive fleets of flexible mobile medical units.

Today (June 20) it unveiled a partnership with US-based EmVenio Research, which is EmVenio’s first international venture.

It said its expansion into the UK will utilise EMS Healthcare’s expertise in delivering clinical trials with greater diverse participation by using mobile clinics. The groundbreaking NHS-Galleri cancer trial utilised EMS units and clinical staff to recruit 140,000 volunteers across the country in just 10 months.

The new collaboration will allow EmVenio to garner a wider demographic of research participants and diversify its clinical trial offerings, based on the needs of pharmaceutical sponsors and research organisations.

The deal follows a dramatic fall in the number of commercial clinical trials initiated in the UK of more than 40% since 2017.

Keith Henthorne, EmVenio CEO, said: “People living in under-served communities often have limited time and access to participate in potential life-improving clinical trials, often leaving a gap in research studies.

“EMS have proven experience of delivering care and conducting research in the heart of communities, removing barriers and accelerating trials – all of which aligns with our goals. With their support, we are now able to expand our footprint across the UK and increase the diversity of clinical trial participation to reflect the population more accurately.”

EMS Healthcare has identified 10 potential mobile site locations, each to be supported by a dedicated and clinically experienced local workforce. EmVenio will be responsible for full oversight, including all clinical trial operations and data management.

Keith Austin, EMS Healthcare CEO, said: “A recent independent review of commercial clinical trials by Lord James O’Shaughnessy acknowledged the crucial role of mobile clinics in carrying out trials with more diverse participation. We believe this initiative will attract more pharmaceutical sponsors to carry out trials, which will have a significant impact on both the economy and the health of our population.”

EmVenio currently operates clinical research programmes in 10 mobile community sites across the US. The new partnership is aiming to open its first site in the UK by the end of the year.


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