NIHR | Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

Industry award to MSK theme researcher, Dr Hector Chinoy, for rare disease trial

Dr Hector Chinoy, a Manchester BRC researcher, has received funding and materials support from pharmaceutical company, Lilly, to conduct an innovative research study in the rare disease, Myositis.

Myositis, or IIM, is an autoimmune disease which has considerable health consequences for around 10,000 patients in the UK.

It is characterised by muscle inflammation which can lead to profound weakness, fatigue and disability. Additionally, IIM may affect the skin, joints, heart, lungs and gastrointestinal tract.  It is also associated with an increased risk of early death from cardiovascular and lung diseases, and cancer.

Currently, the treatment for IIM is unsatisfactory with many people dependent on high, cumulative doses of corticosteroids and at risk of long-term adverse effects.

This new study, MYOJAK, which is due to start in 2020, will investigate the clinical efficacy of the drug, Baricitinib, on disease activity in adult participants with confirmed IIM.  Baricitinib, the first JAK1/2 inhibitor to be licensed in Europe, disrupts the mediating signalling pathways involved in inflammatory disease.  It is currently used in the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.

As the underlying disease mechanisms remain unclear, there is no strong evidence base to direct IIM treatment and, consequently, it is poorly targeted. This study aims to test whether Baricitinib may provide effective treatment for IIM patients. We will be looking for improvements as determined by criteria drawn up by two leading American and European rheumatology bodies.

Dr Hector Chinoy, Trial Chief Investigator

The trial – MYOJAK (Myositis JAK inhibitor study) – will take place in Manchester and London (with Dr Patrick Gordon, Kings College) and Stockholm in Sweden (with Professor Ingrid Lundberg, Karolinska Hospital).

Dr Chinoy, Senior Clinical Lecturer at The University of Manchester and an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Salford Royal Hospital, carries out research in IIM on the Manchester BRC Connective Tissue Programme.