UK tops Euro league for DIAS-4 recruitment
A new thrombolytic agent derived from the saliva of vampire bats could save lives and reduce disability caused by strokes – and UK centres are at the forefront of research into the drug.
The DIAS-4 study aims to recruit 400 patients worldwide to test the desmoteplase drug – and UK’s stroke research community is now Europe’s top recruiter to the ground-breaking trial.
Sponsored by Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, DIAS-4 aims to extend the treatment window for thrombolytic intervention to 9 hours, with major benefits, even for patients presenting late for treatment.
Only the United States has recruited more patients than UK to the trial, which features complex protocols, a limited window for initiating involvement, and challenging exclusion criteria.
“This study will expand the range of the therapeutic window and allow more patients to be treated successfully,” said Professor Christine Roffe of University Hospital North Staffordshire which recently became the first centre in the UK to reach its recruitment target.
The Stroke Research Network has made a positive impact on recruitment for the study, which sees patients monitored over a 90-day period. This included detailed advice on exclusion criteria to ensure that national differences in use of aspirin did not become a major obstacle to recruitment.
“And experience derived from the IST3 study into use of alteplase for up to six hours after a stroke has also helped”, says Professor Roffe.
“Access to infrastructure and hyperacute centres through the network makes a real difference - we were able to use the experience of IST-3 to advise Lundbeck as to which centres were well placed to recruit,” she said. “The study has also made angiography more frequent in diagnosis of acute strokes, which is a great example of clinical research and practice benefiting each other.”
Anders Gersel Pedersen, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, at Lundbeck, said: “High unmet medical needs remain within the area of acute stroke and we are excited to be working with experts in the UK and worldwide to develop desmoteplase. This is a high risk undertaking because it is very difficult to develop new medicines in this area, but we hope to make desmoteplase available to patients as soon as possible."
To find out more about DIAS-4, contact Lucie Robinson, Research Portfolio Administrator, email@example.com or 0191 241 8984.