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World first for Eastern dermatology research team

World first for Eastern dermatology research team

An NHS clinical research team in the Eastern region has enrolled the world's first volunteer to an international study to help patients with a painful skin condition.

The dermatology research team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) achieved the global first after becoming the first to sign up a patient to the Sunshine study. The clinical trial, which is sponsored by Novartis and supported by the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research), is being run across 33 countries to help patients with a debilitating and recurring skin condition.

Patients living with Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) require constant management to help ease their symptoms and often need surgery. The Sunshine research study will find out if the drug secukinumab is safe and has beneficial effects in patients with HS. The medicine is often used in the treatment of psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. 

Patients taking part in the trial will be randomised to receive either secukinumab or placebo for the first part of the study. In addition, the study will determine if secukinumab works better if given once every two weeks or once a month. 

Erika Denton, Eastern Accountable Officer for the NIHR Clinical Research Network and NNUH Medical Director, said: "I'd like to congratulate our dermatology research team who have become the first in the world to enrol a patient onto this global study. I'm proud of this hospital's record in being involved in a plethora of medical trials, which means that we are at the forefront of new innovations and we are very grateful to the thousands of patients who volunteer to take part in research every year. Being actively involved in research results in better outcomes for our patients."

For more information visit the NIHR's Dermatology research page here.