“If our study is positive, we hope that hydroxychloroquine, an old fashioned and safe drug widely used in other rheumatic conditions, will make a real difference to patients with this complex and challenging disease.” explains Professor David D’Cruz.
He goes on to say “I cannot thank the St Thomas’ Wegener’s Trust enough for your unstinting and generous support over the years while we put this grant application together. Without your support, this trial would simply not have been possible.”
Hydroxychloroquine could be a safe and inexpensive game changer in controlling non-severe ANCA vasculitis, reducing the reliance on steroids and the need for toxic steroid sparing agents like cyclophosphamide or rituximab, as well as reducing associated complications such as infections, blood clots and stiffness of blood vessels. This HAVEN trial is to address the surprising lack of studies of hydroxychloroquine in ANCA vasculitis given its long history of successful use in other auto-immune conditions. Quinine was first used for patients with Lupus by Reverend Payne at St Thomas’ in 1894, and hydroxychloroquine has also been a safe, successful treatment for rheumatoid arthritis for over 50 years.
This 3 year trial will involve 76 patients in 10 specialist study centres across the UK. The Wegener’s Trust has successfully laid the groundwork for the HAVEN trial to get the green light from the Medical Research Council, including a smaller pilot study of 12 ANCA vasculitis patients which had shown benefits of hydroxychloroquine. We thank all those who have donated to the Wegener’s Trust, this is a huge win!
We would like to thank Professor David D’Cruz, Dr Alina Casian, Dr Susan John and Sangmi Kim for keeping the faith despite the many hurdles along the way and bringing this potentially game-changing trial to fruition.