Clinical researchers at University of Birmingham, in collaboration with University of Edinburgh, University of Leeds and the Royal Liverpool Hospital to lead a NIHR (National Institute of Health Research) funded multicentre clinical trial to research CALIBRE -  Carvedilol versus variceal band ligation in primary prevention of variceal bleeding in liver cirrhosis.

Dr Tripathi and Dr Ferguson from Birmingham, Professor Hayes from Edinburgh, Dr Rowe from Leeds, and Dr Richardson from Liverpool have been awarded a NIHR HTA grant worth £2.3 million to investigate the role of beta-blockers and variceal band ligation in the prevention of bleeding in patients with liver cirrhosis and gastro-oesophageal varices. The clinical trial will be coordinated through the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU) based at the University of Birmingham under the leadership of its director Professor Brocklehurst.

The Chief Investigator Dr Tripathi, a BSG Liver Section member, is a Consultant Hepatologist at University Hospitals Birmingham and an Honorary Reader for the University of Birmingham said: “CALIBRE has the potential to be the largest ever Phase III trial in the history of Hepatology in the UK. The trial is to be rolled out nationally and all hospitals with Gastroenterology/Hepatology services and a research infrastructure are eligible to participate. The results could lead a paradigm shift in the management of patients with liver cirrhosis and varices with major implications to the NHS.

CALIBRE is fully supported by the BSG-BASL Research Development Group, and this support has contributed to the successful grant application. Further details of CALIBRE will be available shortly from a dedicated website.