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First European participant recruited in East Riding to pulmonary sarcoidosis study.

Picture of EFZO-FIT Study participant and principal investigator alongisde text stating the study has recruited it's first European participant

Castle Hill Hospital recruited the first European participant to the EFZO-FIT study, which is looking into the efficacy and safety of intravenous efzofitimod in the treatment of pulmonary sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis is a multi-organ inflammatory disease that commonly affects the lungs, eyes, and skin, and sometimes the heart and nervous system. The cause is unknown, however it is known that cells of the immune system become hyper-activated and form lesions called granulomas in the affected tissues. Whilst some patients may experience few or no symptoms, others may suffer chronic ill health, and develop much more serious health conditions.

Before now, treatments have been few and far between and caused various side effects. However, recently, two biotech companies based in the USA have initiated multi-centre randomised controlled trials of two new agents to treat sarcoidosis, one of which being the EFZO-FIT study.

The first European participant in the study, Sheila Mudd, 69, from East Riding was recruited at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull. Speaking about her involvement in the trial, Sheila said, “I felt very privileged when asked by Professor Hart (pictured above with Sheila) whether I would like to take part in the sarcoidosis study as I feel the more unusual conditions are often overlooked in favour of the more common diseases. Some people may find attending the clinic for study visits as quite a commitment but I would rather count it as a day out. If there are positive results from this sarcoidosis study, I and many sufferers will be very grateful to everyone involved in this program.”

Treatment with efzofitimod aims to reduce immune responses to restore immune balance in sarcoidosis and is supported by pre-clinical evidence in the laboratory, and clinical experience in early phase studies. Patients who provide informed consent are randomised to one of 2 doses of Efzofitimod delivered by IV or placebo, and visit the unit once a month, remaining in the study for 48 weeks. The primary endpoint is reduction in oral steroid dose. EFZO-FIT is a worldwide study, with 88 sites around the globe.