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First patient in the UK recruited to new SPECTRUM Study

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust recruits first UK patient to a new study investigating a drug to improve eye health

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) is the first in the UK to recruit a patient to a new study investigating a revolutionary new drug set to improve eye health.

Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (nAMD) is an eye problem that mostly affects older people, and happens when new, abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye. These abnormal vessels can cause problems in vision. Similarly, Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO) is a condition that can affect people with diabetes, and occurs when the part of the eye responsible for clear, sharp vision (the macula) swells due to diabetes-related issues. This can cause vision to be blurry or wavy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is supporting the SPECTRUM  Study, which investigates the effectiveness of a drug called Aflibercept in DMO and nAMD. In previous studies with patients who have eye problems, it was found that most patients could receive the medicine less often after an initial round of treatment without it becoming less effective or less safe. Change in visual acuity, change in retinal thickness (CRT), number of injections and other parameters will be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the medicine. 

SPECTRUM is the first observational study for the new Aflibercept 8mg formulation. The purpose is to provide a first account of effectiveness and safety for the medication in a real world, multinational setting.The study is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) East Midlands, and sponsored by Bayer Pharma AG with more information on the study found here

Dr Vasileios Konidaris, Principal Investigator at UHL states:

“The research project has provided the opportunity for our patients to obtain access to novel, more efficacious medicines, achieving superior visual outcomes. The value of research in transforming health and care is significant. Serving as a site for SPECTRUM, enables us to offer detailed treatment monitoring of the responses to treatments and transforming health outcomes

Our involvement in this research project not only enhances current care standards but also contributes to future- proofing care delivery for ophthalmology patients and service. By pioneering novel treatments and refining monitoring methodologies, we are ensuring that our patients receive the best possible care both now and in the future.

Our primary goal is to ensure our patients receive world class treatment while simultaneously fostering a culture of research excellence. We are dedicated to position our department to the forefront of research, striving for international recognition as a primary centre of excellence in our field.

Because of the coordinated efforts of the Ophthalmology Research Team, especially of our Research Co-ordinator, Kiran Bhogal, and our UHL Research & Innovation Department specifically Manvir Kaur, our Ophthalmology Department has recently achieved the important milestone of recruiting the first patient in the UK in this multicentre international trial.”

If you would like to find out more on how you can Be Part of Research and help transform the future of healthcare, click here.