Novartis is planning to conduct a primary prevention study of inclisiran, a cholesterol-lowering drug, with the UK as the global trial centre.

The trial will take place in alliance with Oxford University, the NHS, and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

During the study, inclisiran will be assessed for its potential to improve cardiovascular outcomes by decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

Novartis intends to leverage the approaches used to enrol 500,000 patients into the UK Biobank and the drug’s ongoing ORION-4 trial in heart attack or stroke patients.

Oxford University medicine professor John Bell said: “This new trial offers an important opportunity to test the ability of inclisiran to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke in a broad range of people.

“At the same time, it will demonstrate how a new generation of streamlined trials can provide reliable information about novel treatments for conditions that affect large numbers of NHS patients.”

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The partnership between Novartis and the NHS will also see the development of a population health model to an at-risk patient population with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

This model is intended to offer treatment to secondary prevention ASCVD patients who fail to achieve their LDL-C target on statins alone.

Concurrent with the trial announcement, Novartis formally opened its new UK headquarters in White City Place. The new headquarters is close to Imperial College London’s new research and innovation campus.

Novartis UK country president Haseeb Ahmad said: “White City is fast becoming one of the UK’s most exciting new hubs for life sciences, and puts us in the perfect position to continue working with our partners to find new ways to innovate and collaborate to build a healthier tomorrow.”