Clinical Trials Day: Meet Nicola

""20 May marks Clinical Trials Day. It is a memorable day for the many stakeholders in the healthcare sector, amongst them study participants, their caregivers, investigators and site coordinators. The way they contribute varies, but the result doesn’t: their combined efforts advance potential treatments which may impact the lives of many around the world. On this Clinical Trials Day, I want to put the spotlight on one group of people in particular: the patients who participate in clinical trials. Meet Nicola and get inspired by her story.

Written by Heidi Müller, Head of Site & Patient Engagement

Citrus fruits at sea

Do you know why 20 May was chosen? The first randomized clinical trial took place aboard a ship on May 20, 1747. James Lind – a Scottish doctor of the Royal Navy – allegedly conducted the trial to find a treatment for scurvy, a disease common among sailors who were long at sea. Lind researched the impact of different types of food on the condition. From the different approaches he tested on 12 seamen, citrus fruits showed the best result, as it tackles the vitamin C deficit causing scurvy. Almost 3 centuries later, we celebrate Clinical Trials Day on the 20th of May.

Meet Nicola

Today I want to bring special attention to one group of people: the patients who participate in a clinical trial. They often went through a challenging journey of diagnosis and treatment, hope and disappointment. Their courage and desire to improve not only their own live, but that of many after them, is truly inspiring to me and my colleagues at Galapagos.

That’s why I want you to meet Nicola too. Nicola is 49 years old, she lives in Edinburgh and she enjoys gardening and spending time outside. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2013. Through her physician, she decided to participate in a clinical trial after struggling to find a suitable therapy.


The Scottish connection

Much like James Lind, Nicola is a pioneer too, in her own way. Thanks to people like her, potential therapies can move forward today to become the treatments of tomorrow for many. Watch her inspiring story in the video below.

Learn more about clinical trials

Do you want to know more about clinical trials? Visit Galapagos’ Clinical Trial Portal to learn more. The portal has been developed to support patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, to empower them and provide tailored information on the clinical trial process, including what is involved and how to take part.

If you want to read my previous article about our efforts in helping patients better understand clinical trial requirements, click here.

About Heidi Müller

""I’m Heidi Müller. I have been working in the healthcare sector for over 35 years. I joined Galapagos in 2020 as Head of Site & Patient Engagement. Together with my team, my aim is to engage with patients, clinical trial sites and our internal development and study teams, to understand and build upon everyone’s needs. Ultimately, our aim is to create the best (clinical trial) experience for all. It’s my way of ‘Pioneering for Patients’.