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Clinical trial patient donates £750 to NDORMS research on autoimmune diseases, led by Professor Paul Bowness.

Mr Ken Thompson presents the £750 cheque to the Future 5 team, Professor Paul Bowness, Dr David Simone and Ms Alice Harin.
Mr Ken Thompson presents the cheque to the Future 5 team. Left to right, back: Dr David Simone, Professor Paul Bowness. Front: Ms Alice Harin and Mr Ken Thompson.

Ken Thompson has psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and found himself to be non-responsive to current biological treatments.

The next step for Ken? To join a clinical trial.

Mr Thompson was referred to the research team at NDORMS running Future 5, a two-year trial looking at a new treatment targeting the inflammatory molecule IL-17a. The treatment is known to be effective in other conditions and the drug form is used in skin psoriasis, but the leap to PsA is yet to be made.

PsA causes inflammation in and around the joints, leading to swelling, stiffness and pain in and around the joints, as well as nail changes and overall fatigue.

With current treatments not working for him, Mr Thompson joined the trial and has been so pleased with the level of care that he decided to give the team a hand and fundraise to support the research of Professor Paul Bowness, lead investigator of Future 5.

No stranger to fundraising, Mr Thompson regularly organises events at the pub he runs, the White Horse in Banbury, on behalf of different charities and causes.

Mr Thompson as Tim Curry's Frankenfurter.He knew research into autoimmune diseases was going to be the next focus and he set about organising a Rocky Horror Show Halloween Party to do it in style, shaving off his beard and dressing as Tim Curry's Frankenfurter. Thanks to additional funds from bucket collection and the sale of butterflies in the ladies, Mr Thompson and his pub raised £750 for medical research.

"After being a none responder to previous treatments and feeling quite down, it was a breath of fresh air to meet the research team and to help with this programme and over the last 12 months become friends rather than just medical associates. I feel very lucky", said Mr Thompson.

Professor Bowness was really appreciative of the donation: "We are delighted to have engaged patients who want to get involved in research. Mr Thompson's generous donation to our research will contribute to developing new treatments in the longer term".

The Future 5 team is looking not only at optimising the therapy for PsA, but also understanding what is behind its efficacy and identify patients who would benefit most from the new approach.