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Targeting Iatrogenic Cushing's Syndrome with 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 Inhibition (TICSI)

Trial categories: Other

Sponsoring organisation: University of Oxford

2-3 percent of the population of the UK are prescribed steroid treatment to treat a wide variety of conditions. Whilst steroid treatment is very effective, it is associated with a significant number of side effects that can include weight gain, the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, fat in the liver and thinning of the muscles. Currently there are no treatments available to limit the side effects of steroid medication.

In previous studies, we have shown that an enzyme called 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) regenerates additional steroid in liver, fat and muscle and this has a detrimental impact upon how these tissues function. We believe that inhibiting 11β-HSD1 will be a new way to limit the side effects of prescribed steroids without compromising their anti-inflammatory actions.

AZD4017 is an inhibitor of 11β-HSD1 that has been used in many clinical studies.

We will use this drug in healthy male volunteers, in the first study of its kind, funded by the Medical Research Council, to see if we can limit the side effects of steroid treatment. The steroid medication that we will use in this study is called prednisolone and the effects of AZD4017 will be compared against a dummy pill (placebo). If the results of this study are positive, then it has the potential to change the way in which steroid medication is prescribed and to reduce the side effects of a commonly prescribed class of drug.

Nantia Othonos, OCDEM