The Renal Research team are first to recruit and top recruiter to global research study advancing treatment for kidney transplant patients

The Renal Research team at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) are first to recruit and top recruiter to a global clinical research study looking to advance treatment for kidney transplant patients.

The CIRRUS-1 research study, sponsored by Novartis, aims to evaluate efficacy and safety of a new immunosuppressant therapy; CFZ533, in preventing the rejection of transplanted kidneys in two cohorts of patients:

  • Patients who have just had a kidney transplant
  • Patients who had a transplant six to 24 months ago.

CFZ533 is an antibody (a protein that helps to fight germs in the body) that works by blocking the ability of two proteins known as CD154 and CD40 from linking together to activate the immune system. It is important for people who receive an organ transplant to take immunosuppressant drugs as the immune system may see a transplanted organ as a foreign object and attack the organ as it would attack any foreign cell. This can cause severe damage and may lead to needing the organ removed.

The study is being led locally by Chief Investigator Dr David VanDellen, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at MRI, and in total aims to recruit approximately 325 participants; 200 in cohort 1 and 125 in cohort 2. The active-controlled study is being carried out globally at 55 sites, including three sites in the UK. MRI, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, has been set a target of screening eight patients and randomising six. The team were the first in the UK to recruit to the trial when it opened earlier this year and are on target for being top recruiter with two patients randomised to the trial so far.

Mr David Van Dellen said: “The team here works very hard to ensure we are in a position to begin recruitment to studies at an early stage and offer our patients the opportunity to participate in research at the earliest convenience.

“That same efficiency was demonstrated once again on the CIRRUS-1 study and this achievement is thanks to a real team effort, in particular Houda Chea and Carla Barrett who have been key members of the team in getting the study up and running.”

Dace Dimza-Jones, CRN GM Industry Facilitator, said:

Recruiting a first UK patient is a key performance indicator for the life-sciences industry in clinical research delivery, as it shows that our network here in Greater Manchester can support the rapid set-up of studies and then recruit to them quickly.

“The renal R&I team at MRI has a proven track record for recruiting UK first patients and has once again done fantastically well to get off to a flying start on this study. Congratulations to the entire team on this excellent achievement.”

The study is commercially sponsored and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd and on the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio, managed locally by CRN Greater Manchester.