This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

PRC: Exeter reopens study investigating new treatment for giant cell arteritis


NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre Exeter (PRC: Exeter) has reopened a study investigating a brand new treatment for giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Also known as temporal arteritis, GCA is a condition where arteries, particularly those at the side of the head, the temples, become inflamed. GCA frequently causes headaches, scalp tenderness, jaw pain and vision problems, if untreated, can lead to blindness.

The study is investigating the safety and efficacy of upadacitinib in patients with a new GCA diagnosis or those with disease relapse. The study was temporarily paused to new participants, due to the impact of COVID-19, and recruitment has now restarted.

PRC: Exeter is one of numerous sites in the UK taking part in the global study. The study is looking to recruit a minimum of 5 participants aged over 50 years old with either new onset or relapsing GCA and who have received treatment with prednisone .

Mahdi AbuSalameh, Consultant Rheumatologist and Acute Physician at Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust and Principal Investigator on the clinical trial, said: “We have a strong track record at PRC: Exeter of successfully delivering studies in musculoskeletal disorders such as GCA. Our ability to continue to attract commercial studies in this area is testament to the leading expertise within the team and our ability to successfully recruit participants.

“GCA is among the most common causes of sudden blindness, particularly in women over 50. This study will determine whether this new treatment is effective in treating the condition.”


The study will take place at the PRC: Exeter’s state-of-the-art facilities based at Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the only facility of its kind in the south west of England. The National Patient Recruitment Centres (PRCs) are the first family of NIHR-funded research facilities that are 100% dedicated to delivering commercial research. They are purpose-designed to increase the UK’s capacity to deliver large scale, late-phase commercial clinical trials and to make it easier and quicker to deliver commercial research in our NHS and wider care settings.

Learn more about the expertise at PRC: Exeter