Swiss pharma giant Novartis has chosen the UK as its global centre for a major cardiovascular trial.

The trial will investigate the use of inclisiran in improving cardiovascular outcomes, including heart attack or stroke, by reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

The announcement came on the same day Novartis formally opened its new headquarters in White City, London, and pledged to expand its Digital Biome programme to the UK.

The company is currently planning a primary prevention study with inclisiran in the UK, building on the methods used to recruit 500,000 patients into the U BioBank and to conduct ORION-4, the ongoing study for patients who have already had a heart attack or stroke.

The new trial will see Novartis’ collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University, the NHS and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Vas Narasimhan, Chief Executive Officer at Novartis, said: “As a company working to improve and extend human life, we’re optimistic about today’s announcement and what this could mean in the ongoing battle against cardiovascular disease—the world’s leading cause of death and disability. We see the UK, with its deep commitment to life sciences, as an attractive place to reimagine medicine”.

The partnership between Novartis and the NHS will be a world-first of its kind in population health model to a large at-risk patient population with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Enabling access to this high-risk population could play a significant part in achieving the NHS long-term commitment to preventing 150,000 CVD deaths over 10 years. There is also a proposal to look at manufacturing synergies that could improve oligonucleotide manufacturing scale and efficiency.

“This new trial offers an important opportunity to test the ability of inclisiran to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke in a broad range of people. At the same time, it will demonstrate how a new generation of streamlined trials can provide reliable information about novel treatments for conditions that affect large numbers of NHS patients,” said Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University.

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