If you’re suffering from the rare skin disease palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP), a current research trial for a new medication could potentially change your life.
The Central Alberta Research Clinic in Red Deer is seeking women and men aged 18 to 75 with moderate to severe PPP to participate in a clinical trial for a new medication that developer Boehringer Ingelheim hopes will give sufferers relief.
Medication aimed at eliminating outward symptoms
The disease, which sees pustules form on the person’s hands and/or feet, sometimes even overnight, can be extremely uncomfortable. Sufferers experience redness, itchiness and scaly skin – some take to wearing gloves to hide the condition.
“The medication they’re developing is designed to specifically target the individual’s immune system and hopefully stop the pustules from forming,” says assistant research manager/research coordinator Kayla Tiessen. “This is a phase 3 study, which means it has already been studied in humans and animals and they know it has some efficacy. We are now working on getting additional data collected, before submitting it to Health Canada or the FDA in the U.S. for approval.”
How do you get involved?
If you’re interested in being a part of the study, first contact the clinic at 403-343-8972. You’ll speak with a staff member who will ask questions to see if you qualify for the next stage of screening. If so, you’ll be booked in to see dermatologist Dr. Isaiah Day, who will conduct several tests. Patients accepted into the study will check in with a member of the clinic team every two weeks, and commit to monthly blood tests and overall health checks.
Through the study, participants have an 80-per-cent chance of receiving the injected medication regularly over the first 12 weeks of the trial, while 20 per cent of people will receive a placebo. After 12 weeks, all participants will receive the medication, Tiessen says.
“That’s the great thing about this study, everybody does get the medication at some point during the trial, so there is a greater potential that patients will benefit from their participation.”