Elderly patient

UHP and UCL to collaborate in clinical trial for Parkinson’s treatment

An Honorary Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP), is now able to co-lead the Accelerating Clinical Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease project, following a £1.375m grant from the charity, Edmond J. Safra Foundation.

This will involve establishing a multi-arm multi-stage clinical trial platform, where potential protective therapies will be quickly assessed. These therapies will be those aimed at either slowing down or stopping the progression of Parkinson’s.

At the early stage of trailing prospective therapies, they will be quickly removed and replaced if they are shown to be ineffective. This platform will allow 12 drugs to be initiated in a trial over five years. Previously this would have taken 40 years and ten times as many patients, using established protocols.

The project will be co-led by Professors Thomas Foltynie and Sonia Gandhi at the University College London’s (UCL) Movement Disorders Centre, and Dr Camille Carroll at UHP, and carried out in partnership with the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at UCL.

Dr Camille Carroll, Honorary Consultant Neurologist at UHP, Associate Professor at the University of Plymouth, and NIHR Specialty Lead for Neurodegenerative Diseases, said: “The funding provided by the Edmond J. Safra Foundation will enable a sea of change in how we investigate therapies that could slow or stop Parkinson’s progression. We are very pleased to be partnering with colleagues at UCL to realise the vision of developing this trial platform for Parkinson’s.

“The UK is the right place to deliver this ambitious, world-leading project, which we hope will herald the beginning of the end of Parkinson’s.”

Current treatments are only able to alleviate symptoms, but are unable to alter the course of the disease. This is viewed as being a new approach to clinical trial design, aiming to tackle inefficiencies in “conventional” trial models, enabling multiple drugs to be tested simultaneously, and seamlessly transitioned from early to later stage clinical testing.

Professor Thomas Foltynie, Professor of Neurology in the Department of Clinical and Movement Neurosciences at UCL, said: “We are delighted to embark on this project with the support of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. Our existing process of ‘one drug at a time’ is far too inefficient, and it is high time that we had a platform capable of assessing multiple approaches simultaneously.

“This project will revolutionise the way we perform clinical trials of potentially disease-modifying drugs for people with Parkinson’s.”

Mrs Lily Safra, Chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, said: “I am so incredibly proud to be able to offer our support to those undertaking visionary research at UCL and the University of Plymouth. I have witnessed first-hand the effects that Parkinson’s has on patients and their loved ones, and I feel great hope and excitement at the prospect of the Edmond J. Safra ACT-PD Initiative identifying the treatments which hold the promise of a brighter future.”

The charity has shown a significant amount of support for Parkinson's research and patient care at many worldwide hospitals and institutes. The project will run until 2023 and will also be supported by the NIHR, providing expertise in trial development and provision of trial delivery infrastructure across UK healthcare. During this time, the project team will design the trial platform.

NHE Sept/Oct 21

NHE Sept/Oct 21

Improving care for long-term conditions

Join us in our September/October edition of National Health Executive, as we explore a range of topics impacting and improving the care that we can deliver to patients, the facilities within which we deliver them, and the opportunities in the digital space to accent and evolve our care capabilities

Videos...

View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Digital Healthcare

The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all