European first for Norfolk and Norwich hospital during international research trial

Mr John Phillips, Consultant Surgeon at the N&N (left) and Mr Colin Breeze, who has taken part in th

Mr John Phillips, Consultant Surgeon at the N&N (left) and Mr Colin Breeze, who has taken part in the trial (right). - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's biggest hospital has become the first in Europe to enroll a patient to the latest stage of an international research trial.

A new treatment is currently being tested across the world to combat Meniere's disease, a rare disorder affecting the inner ear, which can often cause crippling vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss.

The treatment, known as OTO-104, aims to reduce and even eliminate the physical symptoms which means those treated could lead completely normal lives.

In the third phase of the trial - patients will be given injections of either OTO-104 gel or a placebo to test efficiency, with the first European patient, who has asked not to be named, enrolled at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

John Phillips, consultant surgeon with the hospital's ear, nose, and throat team, said: 'This European first is a proud achievement and clear indicator of the efficiency with which we're able to carry out NHS research here at the N&N and in the Eastern region. 'However without the patients and public who get involved we couldn't carry out this research to find better treatments so we are extremely grateful to all who participate.'


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Colin Breeze, an N&N patient who took part in the previous phase of the trial and saw his Meniere's disease symptoms reduced, said: 'I've had nothing but the best of health since participating in the clinical trial, not even the remotest of spells of vertigo or sickness, or even a light headed moment and I'm so grateful to be free from that awful Meniere's disease.'

This third phase of the study will test the drug on a much wider number of participants with recruitment due to conclude in 2017.

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The study is taking place at NHS Trusts across the UK, as well as medical organisations in Europe and the United States.

Have you got a health story? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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