Through the collaboration, Icon intends to share expertise with academic and medical communities of the network and gets access to the facilities of other NHS members and the University of Manchester.

The two-floor, 34-bed hospital-based unit brings Icon’s Phase I global bed capacity to over 280 beds, and includes a sample handling laboratory, 24-hour medical cover, local GMP pharmacy, contiguous access to the Accident and Emergency department at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and local bioanalytical support.

The unit also features four fully environmentally controlled pharmacodynamic testing suites where Icon continues its work modelling complex pathologies to identify early efficacy signals of compounds in clinical areas such as Neuropathic Pain, Anxiety and Cognitive Degeneration.

Alan Morgan, president of early clinical research at Icon Group, said: “Icon has conducted clinical pharmacology studies in Manchester for over 25 years, and the opening of this translational medicine unit further demonstrates our commitment to streamlining the process that guides new compounds through the early phases of development into treatments that improve human health.

“Our collaborative relationship with the CMFT, and the location of the new unit on one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, facilitates unrivalled access to the expertise, specialist procedures and patient populations necessary to bring life saving medicines to market faster.”

CMFT is a member of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), one among the five such sites in the UK designated by the Department of Health as a centre of excellence in applying health research and education into healthcare.