1. ITV Report

Birmingham best place in UK to test new medicines

Pharmaceutical firms see Birmingham as good place to test medicines Photo: PA

World class medics at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital, world class academics at the University of Birmingham, and a large ethnically diverse populations to trial drugs with are the three major ingredients making the city and the West Midlands so popular among pharmaceutical firms.

And the government agrees. It's given £11 million pounds to build a new centre where pharmaceutical firms can work with the hospital and the university to trial new drugs.

The deal was brokered by Steve Hollis, from the Local Enterprise Partnership. he says medical testing - known as Life Sciences - along with advanced engineering such as Jaguar Land Rover and the computer gaming industry - is one of the biggest growth areas in the West Midlands.

There are 500 small to medium companies involved in Life Sciences already in the West Midlands and that's predicted to increase.

Charlie Craddock from University Hospital Birmingham is a pioneer in drug testing. He began a trial with a drug for Leukaemia in 2001. The trial - on three patients - led to the drug he was using being approved by UK health officials fastest than any other drug before or since. The drugs can't cure Leukaemia, but it means the disease can be controlled. One of his patients who was given three years to live in 2001 and still alive today - with no signs of going into remission.

Charlie Craddack along with colleagues from the University of Birmingham have been pushing for a new pharmaceutical testing centre for several years. He believes 20,000 jobs might be created as the centre grows.