Due to a strong investment in basic and clinical research, the Neurogastroenterology group comprises of world renowned researchers that are able to provide support from early stage target validation to late phase clinical trials for drug discovery programs or medical devices targeting altered sensation, secretion or motility within the gut. In addition the group has recruited staff with extensive experience within big pharma, and is well placed to offer consultancy services for existing programs and develop strategies to evaluate alternative indications within the gastrointestinal therapeutic area for existing and development assets from other therapeutic areas.
Translational pre-clinical research is a major theme within the Neurogastroenterology group. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of human tissue. Capabilities include:
Human tissue expression
- Expression of novel targets (RNA to protein) in human tissue.
Human tissue function
- Electrophysiological recordings of sensory nerve activity from isolated human colon and appendix.
- Motor function from isolated human oesophagus, stomach, intestine and colon.
- Secretor function from full thickness human tissue and biopsy samples; oesophagus, stomach, intestine and colon.
Translation animal to human
- Each human tissue model is supported by an equivalent animal tissue assay allowing translational comparisons to be made.
- In addition, the group has the capability to identify novel therapeutic targets through the use of knock out strains generated in house, or siRNA knock down of targets in cell based assays.
Clinical research within the Neurogastroenterology group is driven by world renowned researchers in visceral pain, neuromuscular disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), backed up by state of the art facilities.
The clinical research team has extensive experience with all aspects of clinical research. Capabilities include:
- Experimental medicine studies to determine proof of mechanism for visceral analgesics, including the use of neurophysiological end points.
- Phase I and II proof of concept studies to determine visceral analgesia.
- Access to large number patient populations for a range of clinical conditions characterised by visceral pain i.e. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, non-cardiac chest pain.
- Extensive experience with patient phenotyping allowing trials to be conducted on patient subtypes which are most likely to benefit from a given therapeutic approach.
- State of the art clinical lower gastrointestinal motility facilities, including high resolution pancolonic manometry.
- Phase I, II and III studies to determine the effect of novel prokinetic agents.
- Evaluation of medical devices and surgical interventions including ingestible telemetric capsule devices and placement of electrical stimulating devices.
- A world class upper gastrointestinal tract physiology unit.
- Experimental medicine studies to determine proof of mechanism for drugs designed to treat GORD including the real time manometry, impedance and pH measurements.
- Extensive experience phenotyping GORD patients based on their underlying pathophysiology.
- Phase I & II studies to determine proof of concept and access to large patient numbers.