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Strathmore University Medical Centre Holds Inaugural Clinical Trial Study

Group photo of the participants

Strathmore University Medical Centre (SUMC) officially commenced its first clinical trial study with a two day site initiation visit that took place on the 18-19th of October 2017.

The clinical trial called the HOPE (Hemoglobin Oxygen Affinity Modulation to Inhibit HbS PolymErization) study, is a monumental milestone in the development of the robust research platform and culture in Strathmore University’s key strategic pillars.

The global HOPE study is a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel group, multicenter study. There are 15 countries taking part in the USA, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. The study aims to recruit 400 participants internationally, with 54% of these participants being earmarked for Kenya and Ghana.

The study is focusing on GBT440, a research drug that is being developed as an oral, once-daily therapy for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). GBT440 is designed to work by helping haemoglobins. The molecules inside the red blood cells hold onto more oxygen, as the red blood cells travel through the body. This keeps the cells in their normal shape and helps to stop sickling.

GBT440 has been developed by Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) – a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics, to treat grievous blood-based disorders with significant unmet need.

“We are very excited about the HOPE Study taking place here at SUMC, an indication that the research platform that we have been developing in the Medical Centre for the past 18 months is ready,” said Harriet Koyoson, the Director SUMC. She added,“Clinical trials in innovative products focusing on priority disease burdens for Africa such as Sickle Cell Disease, are where the future impact of healthcare service delivery in Africa will be felt. We at SUMC are firmly planting ourselves in that space to enhance our competitiveness in the healthcare sector in Kenya.”

The SUMC clinical trial team will be led by Dr Anastacia Omoding – Co-Principle investigator (co-PI) under the oversight of the Principle Investigator (PI) Dr Bernhardts Ogutu (CREATES).

The study will last for a year (November 2018) with the recruitment phase starting in November 2017.