UK Rituximab Trial - Let's Do It

Introduction Our Plan FAQs Our Fundraising How to Donate

click on the the links above to go directly to the area of the page


On 6th June 2013 the Norwegian Forskningsradet agreed to fund the next phase of rituximab trials of Professor Olav Mella and Dr Oystein Fluge from Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen [R1]. These trials have already been discussed in the last three Invest in ME International ME Conferences, as well as research meetings organised by Invest in ME in collaboration with Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation of Australia.

Clinical trials by other groups are important and will provide the continuity and progress we look for. The IIMEC7 conference highlighted the case for clinical trials [R2].

Invest in ME and its supporters have decided that a UK rituximab trial is important in this mix and we have been involved in discussions with researchers, across countries, to facilitate this.


We are now in a position to move forward to initiate a UK rituximab trial following our BMRMEC meeting [R3] and IIMEC8 conference [R4]. 

Some more information is given below in our FAQs section

We invite people to support this great venture and we have already contributed funds for this and have fundraising projects coming online which will add to this.

If you would like to donate  to this fund please see the How to Donate options at the end of this page.


Our Plan

Our proposal for an examination and research facility for ME [R5] included a strategy of translational biomedical research. The university is now preparing to begin the foundation project [R6]. The UK rituximab trial fits into this strategy perfectly.


Invest in ME have been working on the possibilities of initiating a UK clinical trial using rituximab to treat ME patients following on from our Biomedical Research into ME Collaborative Meeting (BRMEC) on 30th May 2013 and the 8th Invest in ME conference IIMEC8) on 31st May 2013.

At these meetings Professor Olav Mella and Dr Øystein Fluge presented further evidence of the efficacy of rituximab in the treatment of ME patients in Norway and it became clear that a similar trial is needed in the UK to benefit UK ME patients as well as provide support for the international efforts in finding treatments for ME.

We are pleased to announce that Professor Jonathan Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Connective Tissue Medicine at University College London (UCL), has agreed to advise the charity on all aspects of a UK rituximab trial.

Professor Edwards was responsible for both the phase I and the proof of concept phase II (NEJM 2004) studies in rheumatoid arthritis , which formally established the validity of B cell depletion in autoimmune disorders. It all started with a paper called ‘Do self-perpetuating B lymphocytes drive human autoimmune disease?’  published in Immunology in 1999 [1].

There is no other expert in the UK who is better placed than Professor Edwards in advising the charity in setting up a rituximab trial to benefit ME patients.

A plan is being formulated and Professor Edwards and the charity are involved in discussions to establish feasibility and suitable siting for the project.

At our BRMEC and IIMEC8 conference meetings we discussed with the Norwegian researchers (Fluge and Mella) about cooperation on this and other projects and we will be setting up further meetings now that this plan is being progressed.

A great deal of work necessarily needs to be made, not least of which will be a huge effort by the charity and its supporters to raise the funding.

The charity has a number of pledges and offers of support and we will continue to develop more – raising the profile of this project and raising awareness of ME.


We welcome your support.


1. Edwards JC, Cambridge G, Abrahams VM. Do self-perpetuating B lymphocytes drive human autoimmune disease? Immunology. 1999;97:188–196. [PMC free article] [PubMed


We aim to build a fund to accomplish this ourselves but we are happy to accept support and donations from others who have the same objectives as Invest in ME.

IiME are also discussing with our EMEA colleagues on ways to increase biomedical research into ME.

We are confident these projects can be performed and started relatively quickly.


FAQS on the UK Rituximab Trial

The links below open windows with more information


Our FundRaising

We have decided to create a separate strand to our Biomedical Research Fund which will be explicitly used for this UK rituximab trial.

A specific fund-raising thermometer has been created just for this project - see the image on the right. This will be updated with the current figure raised.

The total funding requirement for this trial will be refined as we present more details of the project and as the project progresses. An initial target was set at £150,000 although we know that this is likely to be less than required - but this will only be properly estimated when the plan has been finalised.

If you feel you can support us in any way - by fundraising, by spreading word of this, by simply letting us know that you agree with us then we welcome that support.

ME patients and their carers, when determined, are amongst the most resourceful around. The Let's Do It for ME campaign has energised ME research.

You can do it - We can do it.

Let's Do It For ME!


Contact Us

This page will serve as a starting point for the UK Rituximab Trial. We shall add more information and develop this and other pages to describe the trial as the trial preparation itself develops.

If you have something you want to know but don't find it here then email us and we'll try to answer it - although our efforts are on making rapid progress for biomedical research and we aim to place as much information as we can on this web site.


Here are four ways to donate to the Invest in ME BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH FUND - UK RITUXIMAB TRIAL

Here is the link for donations - for a specific amount

1/  Donate once a specific amount


2/  Here is the link for donations for a monthly donation



For regular monthly donations - select option


3 Here is the link for donations via JustGiving - this allows gift aid



4/ Here is the link for donations via JustTextGiving -


DONATE Via JustTextGiving

using your mobile phone

Text RTUX66 £2 / £5 / £10 to 70070 to donate now -

e.g. text the following to 70070

RTUX66 £5

Thank you for helping us make this happen



Look at the special Facebook page for this campaign -



R1 B-lymphocyte depletion with Rituximab induction and maintenance in CFS/ME. A multicenter, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study
R2 6th Invest in ME International ME/CFS Conference 2011 The Way Forward for ME - A Case for Clinical Trials
R3 Biomedical Research into ME Collaborative Meeting (BRMEC) Crowdsourcing for ME
R4 8th Invest in ME International ME (ME/CFS) Conference 2013 Infection, Immunity and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - Mainstreaming ME Research
R5 Invest in ME proposal for an examination and research facility for ME -

Last Updated: July, 2013