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The Clinical Research Forum selected Evan Dellon, MD, MPH, as one of their Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awardees for study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Clinical Research (CR) Forum announced the important and groundbreaking clinical research studies that will be recognized at the 2021 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awards Virtual Event on March 30, 2021.

Evan Dellon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, was recognized as a Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awardee for his study titled “Anti-Selig-8 Antibody for Eosinophilic Gastritis and Duodenitis,” which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine last fall.

Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders are an under-recognized cause of gastrointestinal illness. Increasing in incidence for reasons that are unclear, eosinophilic GI disorders have no FDA-approved therapies. Dellon and his colleagues performed a randomized controlled trial of lirentelimab, an anti-Siglec-8 antibody, in patients with eosinophilic gastritis and duodenitis. This monoclonal antibody depletes eosinophils and inhibits mast cells, which are thought to be critical in the pathogenesis of these diseases.

After four monthly infusions, patients receiving the monoclonal antibody had an 86 percent reduction in mean eosinophil counts from mucosal biopsies, compared to a nine percent reduction in controls. Additionally, treated patients experienced a 48 percent decrease in a standardized symptom score, compared to 22 percent in the placebo group. Both of these results were highly statistically significant.

This study provides a potential therapeutic option for conditions afflicting thousands of patients, for whom other treatments were inadequate or too toxic for long-term use. It also provides proof-of-principle to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of these conditions and their potential treatments. Given the significant challenges to treating EG and EoD, this study could significantly improve patient care.

Following a nationwide call for nominations, the Clinical Research Forum Board of Directors selected winners based on the degree of innovation and novelty involved in the advancement of science; contribution to the understanding of human disease and/or physiology; and potential impact upon the diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of disease. All nominated studies were published in peer-reviewed journals during 2020.

The award-winning studies exemplify major advances resulting from the nation’s investment in research to benefit the health and welfare of its citizens, and reflect the influential work being conducted by investigators at research institutions and hospitals across the United States, as well as at partner institutions from around the world.

UNC School of Medicine media contact: Mark Derewicz, 919-923-0959