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Scot feels the benefits of pioneering chronic low back pain trial

The first commercial phase one clinical trial run by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust has delivered promising results.

The trial, run by our Research and Development department, tested an injectable antibiotic formulation (PP353) for chronic low back pain (CLBP) caused by bacterial infection.

Scot Harris was just the third person in the world to have the drug, which is delivered directly into the spine via injection.

Twelve months on, Scot has now had his final follow-up appointment and is delighted with how things have gone.

“I’m leading a normal life and doing all the things that I want to do,” he said. “Whatever they’ve done seems to have done the job.

“I’m glad I took the plunge. It’s worked for me and hopefully it can work for other people in the future.”

Fit and healthy, Scot used to compete in mixed martial arts before his troubles began. What brought the pain on remains a mystery.

“Putting on my socks used to be like a military operation,” he added. “I couldn’t bend down to put them on.

“I’d tried different things like an osteopath, acupuncture and yoga, and was restricted at the gym. But now I can keep going as long as I have enough energy.

“I went to my gym and my yoga instructor said to me ‘how is your back?’ and I had to stop and think ‘yes, I used to have back pain!’ because I’d forgot about it.

“The only time I feel any pain is when I wake up in the morning, but it’s nothing like it was.”

Pharmaceutical company Persica ran the trial through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility (CRF), based at University Hospital, and the NIHR Lancashire Clinical Research Facility at the Royal Preston Hospital. The NIHR is a major funder of global health research and training.

Professor Chris Imray, Director of the NIHR Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Research Facility at University Hospital, said: “Complex studies like this can only be delivered through a real team effort and we have to thank everyone who made this research study happen here.”

The trial has now moved on to its second stage, which involves participants across Europe and New Zealand receiving either the investigational drug or a placebo.

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