What is clinical research?
Clinical research is how we develop new treatments and knowledge for better health and care, building the evidence for new approaches that are safe and effective.
We work with thousands of patient and public volunteers to conduct research driving the next generation of treatments and care. These studies involve both patients and healthy volunteers.
You can find out more about taking part in, and shaping, our research in Get involved.
Clinical trials and studies
Clinical trials assess new treatments, technologies or methods, whilst other research studies help better understand health and specific conditions.
Some trials and studies split participants into groups, for example giving one group the new treatment and the other the best current treatment or a placebo, which lacks the active ingredient (never given where your health or safety might be compromised).
Comparing the results of these groups allows researchers to determine how effective the new treatment is.
Phases of clinical trails
New treatments progress through four phases, steadily increasing the number of participants to understand whether it is more effective than existing treatment, and should become a new licensed medicine.
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