New clinical trials on insufficiently researched topics

© Tom Werner

From a new type of surgical cartilage treatment in the knee to reducing blood loss in postpartum haemorrhage: the SNSF is providing 16.4 million francs in funding for seven trials on insufficiently researched topics at hospitals.

What is the optimal treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation who have suffered a stroke despite treatment with blood thinners? Some medical questions lie outside the industry focus despite being of great significance to society. The SNSF has been funding outstanding clinical trials that cover these insufficiently researched topics since 2016.

27 applications were submitted for the 2022 call of the Investigator Initiated Clinical Trials (IICT) programme. The SNSF is now funding seven of these in the amount of 16.4 million Swiss francs in total. The researchers will conduct their clinical trials over three to five years. They will recruit between 56 and 988 patients per project to take part in the trials.

Patient representatives involved

The funded researchers will investigate, among others, a novel treatment for arthritis in the knee or a hormone therapy that could increase the cognitive abilities of patients with Down syndrome (see box).

For the third time, four patient representatives participated in selecting the best projects. What started as a pilot in 2021 is now standard. Once again, discussions with these representatives proved to be very helpful, as they provided valuable information on the perspective and specific needs of those affected.

Next submission deadline: 1 November 2023

Since 2016, the SNSF has funded a total of 51 clinical trials. And the next call is already under way: the researchers expressed their intention to participate in May 2023. They now have until 1 November 2023 to submit their proposals.

Down syndrome, arthritis or brain haemorrhages: the SNSF is funding these seven studies

Nelly Pitteloud, University Hospital Lausanne: Can hormone treatment with gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) increase the cognitive abilities of patients with Down syndrome?

Christian Haslinger, University Hospital Zurich: Unstoppable blood loss in women after the delivery of their baby (postpartum haemorrhage) can lead to far-reaching complications and the death of the mother. Does the administration of coagulation factor XIII reduce blood loss and improve the treatment outcome?

Lorenz Räber, Inselspital, University Hospital Bern: The trial investigates the optimal treatment for people with atrial fibrillation who have suffered a stroke despite treatment with blood thinners.

Mirjam Christ-Crain, University Hospital Basel: Can accompanying psychological problems in patients with diabetes insipidus be alleviated by oxytocin treatment?

Jehuda Soleman, University Hospital Basel: The consequences of a spontaneous brain haemorrhage are often serious. Is early endoscopic haematoma removal the better treatment option for such patients?

Ivan Martin, University Hospital Basel: Patients with arthritis in the knee have persistent pain and are restricted in their everyday life. Can a novel, surgical cartilage treatment restore knee function, relieve pain and improve quality of life?

Reto Auer, University of Bern/Unisanté Lausanne: What are the long-term consequences or benefits for smokers who use nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as a smoking cessation aid?