CLINICAL TRIALS UNIT
The LIWA Clinical Trials Unit is highly regarded as the premier respiratory trials unit in Australia. It is valued by both the pharmaceutical industry and the patients who participate in the research it undertakes. It has a reputation for adding value to patients while generating accurate data and providing intelligent trial delivery. It has a strong track record for recruiting and managing patients and over its 12 year history has established an international reputation for excellence and value adding to pharmaceutical trials.
In 2011 the Unit conducted 18 clinical trials for asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis and alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, which were sponsored by a range of Australian and international pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In addition to the extensive range of sponsored clinical studies, the Unit has again played a pivotal role in supporting research being undertaken by other units within the Institute. A highlight for the Unit was seeing a promising new drug for managing cystic fibrosis symptoms, trialled by the Unit, reach final approval stages for commercial distribution by the Federal Drug Authority in the USA.
The Unit has maintained a collaborative relationship with respiratory physician, Dr Peter Bremner, who is based at St John of God Hospital, Subiaco.
The Unit sees more than 100 West Australians with complex lung disease each month. Through regular contact with the respiratory physicians and nurses in the Unit, patients receive help in managing their condition, and benefit through education about their disease and managing it in balance with other health issues they may face. The patients almost universally express their appreciation of the friendly, helpful and supportive care they receive from the staff. These patients, who would otherwise be seeking assistance elsewhere within the State health system, are encouraged to contact LIWA in the first instance if there is any exacerbation of their condition, for advice on further management. Patients with more complex disease are specifically managed by the Unit rather than burdening the Health system.
The Unit makes a significant contribution to the State’s economy. It attracts more than a million dollars a year directly and indirectly via contracted medical research in WA each year and employs six nurses, five doctors and one specialist, in addition to administrative staff. As a not-for-profit organisation, all profits are used to support further respiratory research activity here in Western Australia.
The Unit was actively involved in lung testing campaigns, testing over 220 people during the Delirium24 Hour Cycle race in Cowaramup in April and at a number of other public LIWA functions.
Ms Meagan Shorten, BSc, Head of Unit
Clinical Trials Unit lead by Meagan Shorten (second right)