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First UK participant recruited to the Messina study at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust


The UK’s first participant has been recruited at Darlington Memorial Hospital into a research study investigating a new treatment for an inflammatory condition that affects the oesophagus (gullet).

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammatory condition in the oesophagus that involves a type of white blood cell known as eosinophils. In healthy people, eosinophils are not found in the gullet (also known as the oesophagus), but in people with EoE the eosinophils are present in the gullet in large numbers, leading to inflammation and difficulty in swallowing.

When a trigger food is eaten, the eosinophils contribute to tissue damage and cause inflammation. This can lead to symptoms such as difficulty swallowing , food getting stuck in the throat, regurgitation and chest pain.

The aim of the Messina study is to investigate the use of Benralizumab, a biologic drug, as a treatment for patients with EoE.

It is hoped that once a month administration of Benralizumab will decrease the eosinophilic inflammation in the oesophagus and improve symptoms caused by EoE .

Professor Anjan Dhar, Principal Investigator of the Messina study said: “EoE is still a relatively new disease having only been identified in the early 90s, but it is now considered a major cause of dysphagia in young patients.

“Research plays a vital role in finding new treatments for patients with EoE and to further our understanding of the condition.”

Professor Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director at NIHR CRN NENC said: “I’d like to congratulate Professor Dhar and the team for recruiting the first UK patient onto the Messina study.”