The Centre for Rheumatology at University College London has been awarded a £3.5 million grant from the Medical Research Council to continue developing a new treatment for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) the largest grant ever awarded in the UK for research into APS. The grant will support the next three years' work on the project designed to develop the new agent to the point where trials in humans could start.
The current treatment for patients with APS involves lifelong anticoagulant treatment, with drugs such as warfarin, but these are associated with a significant risk of bleeding. The new treatment being developed by UCL looks at suppressing the antibodies so that anticoagulation could be reduced for patients.
Professor Anisur Rahman, a Trustee and Medical Advisor to APS Support UK, is leading the team at UCL who are working in partnership with Abzena, a biotechnology company that provides specialist
chemical technology needed to develop this potential treatment.
Professor Rahman said: “This collaboration has been a team effort for the last decade. Working with an industrial partner has been a key feature of the project as both the academic
and industry partners provided complementary expertise and looked at the project from different viewpoints. In addition, we have a good relationship with patient groups particularly APS Support UK so we can obtain a good idea of what patients need from new therapies in this syndrome.”
Needless to say, our charity is delighted that such a large grant has been awarded to further the research of APS. Our CEO, Lynne Kirwin, explained: “We welcome the award of this grant to this valuable research initiative. We have had the opportunity to work closely with UCL research team in recent years, providing feedback from patients on the therapies currently available
“The possibility of a new treatment will undoubtedly give hope to patients and will be warmly welcomed by clinicians working in the field.”
For more information, please read the UCL press release.