Steadfast success

01 April 2013

A UHB patient has become the first patient in the UK to be enrolled in a worldwide study which could help to treat diabetes  in patients who fast during Ramadan.

The STEADFAST study looks at whether a drug called vildagliptin is more effective than gliclazide in managing the patient’s diabetes during fasting in Ramadan.

The trial is sponsored by pharmaceutical company Novartis and is a multinational  portfolio study, led at QEHB by Dr Wasim Hanif, who is the principal investigator and has helped in designing the trial.

Dr Wasim Hanif

Dr Wasim Hanif


It is hoped that the drug will prove effective for managing the levels of glucose in the patient’s blood, because diabetes can cause these levels to become too high (hyperglcaemia) or too low (hypoglycaemia). This is a particular problem for patients who are fasting during Ramadan, because diet is a key means of managing blood glucose levels.

UHB is one of 80 sites taking part in the trial across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, including nine in the UK, and Dr Hanif says it is always satisfying to be the first to recruit a patient: “Our team, especially the research nurses, work very hard to recruit patients into important trials like this because we believe it is providing real hope for patients around the world.

“We always want to improve the quality of our treatments for diabetes, and this trial is an important part of our work, so it’s encouraging that we are leading the way with recruiting patients.”