Oxford Uni teams up with the Government to tackle heart disease

A new drug is going to be made available through the ground-breaking collaboration.

Oxford University is preparing for a large-scale clinical trial of a new heart disease drug, in a Government collaboration.

The Nuffield Department of Population Health is also teaming up with NHS England and pharmaceutical company Novartis, to tackle the leading cause of death in the UK.

The drug inclisiran - which lowers cholesterol - could be available on the NHS as soon as 2021.

It's expected to be filed for approval as a preventative add-on treatment to statins for patients who have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, later this year.

The Oxford experts say it could prevent up to 30,000 deaths over the next decade.

Early results from clinical trials suggest that if inclisiran is given to 300,000 patients annually, it could help prevent 55,000 heart attacks and strokes, and has the potential of saving 30,000 lives in the next 10 years.

The new trial of the bi-annual injection is due to start later this year.

Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, said: 'The discovery and development of Inclisiran marks an important change in the approach to pharmaceutical interventions for public health.

"This program has introduced the use of health care system data from the NHS to dramatically reduce costs by rapidly identifying patient populations through health records.

'I am excited by this collaboration which is likely to have far-reaching impact on the way population level disease therapies are developed in the life sciences sector.'

Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford's Nuffield Department of Population Health, Martin Landray, said: 'This trial provides an opportunity to demonstrate how highly streamlined research can be conducted in the UK using design elements that have worked well in previous trials such as ORION-4, combined with features developed for UK Biobank, such as the use of large, conveniently located clinics.

"The trial will provide a very reliable test of the efficacy and safety of inclisiran to support a population-health approach to the management of cholesterol, and act as an exemplar for future trials of other treatments in the UK.'

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