Developing a treatment for calcinosis in systemic sclerosis

Disease - Scleroderma

Lead applicant - Professor Ariane Herrick

Organisation - University of Manchester

Type of grant - Invited Research Award

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £162,083

Start date - 15 September 2018

Reference - 21797

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Calcinosis is the formation of calcium-containing lumps beneath the skin, especially at pressure points, for example at the fingertips, or over the elbows and knees. Calcinosis is one of the processes that can sometimes occur in the condition systemic sclerosis, but for which there is currently no treatment. The aims of this research are to develop a treatment for calcinosis that can be applied to the skin.

Why is this research important?

From their previous work, the researchers already have a good understanding of what the chemical composition of calcinosis is, and they have identified some drugs which they would like to test further as potential treatments for calcinosis.

This research aims to develop a treatment that can be applied to the skin and this will be tested in people with calcinosis. The researchers will investigate which drugs to use most effectively to treat calcinosis. They will also determine the best dose of the drug to use. In addition, they will aim to find out which formulation (for example, cream/gel or plaster/patch) a group of patients find easiest to use.

How will the findings benefit patients?

There is currently no treatment for calcinosis. Safe and effective treatments are needed to improve quality of life for people with this condition. If successful, this research could help identify a drug to treat calcinosis that can be applied directly where needed. This would be useful in helping patients with systemic sclerosis related calcinosis, as well as calcinosis that occurs in other musculoskeletal conditions.