The trial is called the NAMASTE (Namilumab in AS Therapy) trial.
The 10 centres involved in the UK are Oxford, Reading, Bath, Coventry, Birmingham (UHB), Stoke, Norwich, Leeds, Whipps Cross (London) and UCH (London).
Namilumab is a human monoclonal antibody targeting granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). It has demonstrated efficacy in a phase 2 proof of concept trial conducted in over 100 rheumatoid arthritis patients, and has been well tolerated in previous clinical studies. This will be the first time this type of drug will be trialled in AS.
Research published recently in Nature Communications journal by Oxford University scientists indicate GM-CSF is a highly promising target for ankylosing spondylitis therapeutics.
If the phase 2 trial is sucessful, the drug would go forward to larger phase 3 trials. This is where a new drug is tested n larger groups of people with the condition, and compare new medicine against an existing treatment or a placebo to see if it’s better in practice and if it has important side effects. Phase 3 trials often last a year or more and involve several thousand patients.
So, one to watch for the future!