A CHARITY has announced it will be funding a clinical trial that will help treat the two biggest symptoms of a fatal skin condition.

The Berkshire based charity DEBRA is launching a clinical trial to investigate the use of cannabinoid medicines (CBM). The medicine could be used to treat pain and itching caused by the fatal skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

The patient lead trail will take place at the University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the three-year study will treat 15 participants who suffer from the skin condition with CBM.

Simon Weston, President of DEBRA said: "people with Epidermolysis Bullosa face constant, debilitating symptoms. I understand something of the pain and suffering that people with EB endure every day.

"Having suffered 46% burns on my body when injured during the Falkland War in 1982, I had to overcome not only my injuries but undergo 98 operations.

"I experienced the side effects and the negative impact of long-term use of opiates on my body. An alternative method of pain control will be a welcome relief."

The CBM being used in the study will contain compounds extracted from the cannabis plan.

Caroline Collins Director of Research at DEBRA added: "this trial is designed to improve the quality of life for people suffering from EB by alleviating two of the most debilitating symptoms of the condition, pain and itch.

"The clinical trial will start to gather the scientific evidence needed to prove that CBMs are an effective treatment for pain and itch caused by EB.

"They will begin the work towards a new treatment protocol and evidence-based guidelines for the management of these debilitating symptoms, which we hope will improve the quality of life for many."

The charity is located in Crowthorne and is the only national charity that supports sufferers of EB, which affects over 5,000 people in the UK.

For more information about the charity and the clinical trial visit www.debra.org.uk/cannabinoids.