We work with a diverse range of commercial research partners, spanning small biotech firms to large pharmaceutical companies and world-leading contract research organisations. 

These key partnerships allow the trust to foster innovation and advance medical science through ground-breaking research initiatives.

Two people reading documents in the Royal Free Clinical research Facility

By working hand in hand with these partners, the Royal Free London ensures a robust and comprehensive approach to healthcare research, leveraging the expertise and resources of the academic, non-commercial and commercial sectors. 

This collaborative effort facilitates the development of novel treatments, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic interventions, ultimately benefiting our patients and contributing to the advancement of healthcare in the UK and on a global scale.

The Royal Free London is a founder member of UCL Partners – one of seven accredited academic health science centres in the UK.

UCL is one of the leading universities in the world, ranked eighth in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. Many of our investigators are UCL clinical academics or collaborate closely with UCL’s outstanding biomedical research laboratories. 

Priority areas include organ failure and transplantation, cancer, liver and kidney disease, immunity, inflammation, and rare diseases. 

UCL has four affiliated National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs): Royal Free London, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Moorfields Eye Hospital, and University College London Hospital. 

Collaboration across the four CRFs will be central to achieving our common goals for our local communities in north central London. 

The National Amyloidosis Centre (NAC) is based at the Royal Free Hospital. 

It is the only centre in the UK specialising in amyloidosis and is part of UCL’s Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins, one of the world’s leading centres for amyloid research. 

Our collaboration with the NAC will see an expansion in the number of early-phase clinical trials conducted into this rare disease.

The ECMC network aims to assist in the delivery of early-phase cancer studies between research partners to enable faster and more personalised patient benefits. 

UCL hosts one of the 18 adult ECMCs in the UK. Studies developed and supported by the UCL ECMC are delivered in the NIHR Royal Free CRF.

The IIT, located in the Pears Building on the Royal Free London campus, is one of the largest patient-focused immunology research centres in Europe, and one of only a handful in the world.

Its research is helping to develop better treatments for diseases including cancer, diabetes, HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis, as well as new therapies to stop transplant rejection. 

Discoveries made at the centre will translate to first-in-human clinical trials for patients in the NIHR Royal Free CRF. 

Our co-location and close integration also present unique opportunities for training the next generation of clinician scientists. 

We are a member of CRN North Thames, a NIHR local network delivering high quality health and social care research. 

CRN North Thames encompasses 22 NHS trusts across parts of London, Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. 

The Royal Free Charity’s support for our research ranges from its small grants programme and PhD scheme through to delivering major capital funding appeals such as the Pears building project, a triumphant partnership of philanthropy and clinical excellence. 

It also enabled pump prime funding to establish the NIHR Royal Free CRF.