Find a Metabolic and Endocrine Study in your area

To find out more about current metabolic and endocrine disorder studies you can view a list of studies on the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database

Working with the Life Sciences

The NIHR Clinical Research Network Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders has been enormously successful in integrating clinical research into NHS clinical service provision, and both developing and delivering a large practice changing portfolio of clinical trials.

Read our Metabolic & Endocrine Specialty Profile to find out more.

Our Studies

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As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, the NIHR supports research studies through our funding programmes, training and supporting health researchers, and providing world-class research facilities. We also bring the life sciences industry and charities together to benefit all, and facilitate the involvement of patients and the public to make research more effective.

In 2017/18 the NIHR supported 125 studies on metabolic and endocrine disorders. The NIHR supported these studies through our funding programmes and our research schools and units. We also support metabolic and endocrine disorders research through our research infrastructure and our training and career development awards for researchers.

Neurokinin 3 (Neurokinin 3 receptor antagonism as a novel treatment for menopausal hot flushes)

The Neurokinin 3 study tested the effectiveness of oral NK3R antagonist in reducing the frequency of menopausal hot flushes, without the need for oestrogen, as used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The study revealed that post-menopausal women experiencing seven or more hot flushes within a 24-hour period, had an overall 73 per cent reduction in the frequency of hot flushes while receiving the antagonist over a four week period.

The study paves the way for further research into the use of NK3R antagonists as a potential novel and effective treatment for menopausal hot flushes, and as a viable alternative to HRT. The potential benefit to patients is significant, especially given the prevalence of hot flush symptoms and the symptomatic burden for post-menopausal women. 

SONIA (Suitability of Nitisinone in Alkaptonuria) 1 and 2

Alkaptonuria (AKU), also known as black bone disease, is so rare that currently there are only around 65 patients in the UK that are known to have it. It is a genetic disease caused when both parents pass the AKU gene to their children.

SONIA 1 has improved the knowledge of AKU for patients and clinicians through a short four week study. The international clinical trial, across multiple centres has provided evidence to support the treatment of AKU with Nitisinone. The study also identifed the correct dosage required to effectively reduce the build up of HGA (10mg daily).

The clinical phase of SONIA 2 is due to finish by March 2019 and the full data analysis and study report will be complete by end of December 2019. This will provide further understanding of the effectiveness of Nitisinone in treating people with AKU.

SCALE – Liraglutide versus placebo for type 2 diabetes risk reduction and weight management in individuals with prediabetes

The SCALE study showed how a daily injection of the drug liraglutide, alongside diet and exercise, led to weight loss in overweight or obese patients, reducing risk factors for heart disease and the chances of developing diabetes for those at high risk of the condition.

The liraglutide injection works by helping people feel fuller after meals, thus reducing their food intake and helping them to lose weight.

Expanded newborn screening to identify metabolic diseases

Identifying metabolic diseases at birth is crucial to early treatment and the ability to save lives. Using non-invasive prenatal testing for detecting trisomy disorders is safer, more accurate and will reduce the risk of test-related miscarriage.

The Expanded Newborn Screening project, funded by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Yorkshire and Humber, involved screening 430,000 infants with non-invasive prenatal testing for five metabolic disorders, in addition to the five conditions that was usual practice. During the project, 12 patients were detected as having an inherited metabolic disease, thus allowing for treatment to start sooner than otherwise would have been possible.

Clinical and health economic evidence was submitted to the National Screening Committee  and as a consequence, children born since January 2015 are now screened for a further four conditions.


You can find out more about Metabolic and Endocrine studies in your area through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.