Government ‘confident’ over clinical trials as Brexit halts heart drug study

The Government has said it is “confident” Britain will still provide a good environment for clinical trials beyond March after a study for a new heart drug was halted due to fears over Brexit.

US-based research firm Recardio was due to begin a study of the drug dutogliptin on patients in Exeter, Leeds and Clydebank.

But it has suspended the UK arm of the trial due to concerns over how new medicines will be approved after Brexit, the BBC reported.

The trial is also running in hospitals in Poland, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and the US.

New drugs intended for use in the EU are evaluated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), based in London.

The EMA is seeking to relocate to new headquarters in a different EU country after Brexit.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are confident of reaching a deal with the EU that benefits patients and continues to deliver the best possible environment in which to support clinical trials.

“We want to ensure that patients in the UK and across the EU are still able to access the most innovative and effective medicines.”

Recardio’s founder and president, Dr Roman Schenk, told the BBC that uncertainty over Brexit had created a “very difficult” situation for his company.