Announcement July 2013:
Invest in ME have been working on the possibilities of
initiating a UK clinical trial using rituximab
to treat ME patients following on from our Biomedical Research into ME Collaborative Meeting (BRMEC) on 30th May
2013 and the 8th Invest in ME conference IIMEC8) on
31st May 2013.
At these meetings Professor Olav Mella and Dr
Fluge presented further evidence of the efficacy of rituximab
in the treatment of ME patients in Norway and it became clear
that a similar trial is needed in the UK to benefit UK ME
patients as well as provide support for the international
efforts in finding treatments for ME.
We are pleased to announce that Professor Jonathan
Edwards, Emeritus Professor of
Medicine at University College London (UCL), has
agreed to advise the charity on all aspects of
Professor Edwards was responsible for both the phase I and the
proof of concept phase II (NEJM 2004) studies in rheumatoid
arthritis , which formally established the validity
of B cell depletion in autoimmune disorders. It all started with
a paper called ‘Do self-perpetuating B lymphocytes drive human
autoimmune disease?’ published in Immunology in 1999 .
is no other expert in the UK who is better placed than Professor
Edwards in advising the charity in setting up a rituximab
trial to benefit ME patients.
plan is being formulated and Professor Edwards and the charity
are involved in discussions to establish
siting for the project (since
confirmed to be at UCL -
see later statements).
At our BRMEC and IIMEC8 conference meetings we discussed with
the Norwegian researchers (Fluge and Mella) about cooperation on
this and other projects and we will be setting up further
meetings now that this plan is being progressed.
great deal of work necessarily needs to be made, not least of which
will be a huge effort by the charity and its supporters to raise
The charity has a number of pledges and offers of support and we
will continue to develop more – raising the profile of this
project and raising awareness of ME.
We welcome your support.
1. Edwards JC, Cambridge G, Abrahams VM. Do self-perpetuating B
lymphocytes drive human autoimmune
disease? Immunology. 1999;97:188–196. [PMC
free article] [PubMed]