There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that significant quantities of medicines and medical products, especially in low and middle-income countries, are of poor quality. Malaria researcher and drug quality expert Professor Paul Newton, of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit in Laos, explains the latest research findings and explores some of the recommendations to improve medicine provision for clinical trials.
Recent reports suggest that artemisinin drug resistance is emerging and spreading in many parts of the Asian Mekong region.
A study published today by NDM researchers in Lancet Infectious Diseases reports that the spread of artemisinin drug resistance is following the same historical route as resistance to other antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine.
In October, scientists from Tropical Medicine set out to do something unprecedented – conduct a drugs trial during an epidemic to find a treatment for a lethal disease. The Guardian has written an interesting account of the trial with insights from Professor Pete Horby, Dr Jake Dunning, Dr Gail Carson, Laura Merson and Professor Trudie Lang. It discusses the difficulties in finding a suitable site, the challenges of dealing with the epidemic, finding the best drug to test in the trial and the problem of having too few patients to enrol.
A clinical trial of a potential treatment for Ebola has started in Liberia, with the first Ebola patient receiving the study drug on 2 January. The trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of brincidofovir in patients with Ebola virus disease. Professor Peter Horby the trial's chief Investigator, says: 'I'm delighted that the trial has started. We can only fully evaluate potential Ebola therapies during an epidemic, and we have shown that this is possible, even during the worst epidemic in living memory.' Professor Trudie Lang says: 'There are currently no known treatments for Ebola. Giving drugs on a case by case basis does not enable us to learn whether or not the possible treatments work, therefore it is essential that we run a properly designed trial to be able to test these drugs and see if they are safe and do in fact work.'
Today’s Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) results confirm the University of Oxford’s world leading position in medical sciences research. Clinical Medicine ranked top for the overall quality of submissions along with Public Health Service, and Primary Care and Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. The University of Oxford overall has the largest volume of world leading research and impact submitted to the REF exercise.
In mid-Nov, in recognition of his 35 years of work fighting malaria in the conflict zones of the Thai-Myanmar border and for bringing around the same table Karen and Burmese representatives to discuss malaria elimination, François Nosten, director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU), was awarded the 2014 TWAS Regional Prize for Science ...
Professor Trudie Lang, Director of the Global Health Network, Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at The University of Oxford, is interviewed by Sky News about the news that trials are to begin into drugs to help with the treatment of Ebola.
A clinical trial is to be carried out in West Africa to see whether a novel antiviral drug called brincidofovir is effective against Ebola, subject to regulatory approval. The trial, involving an international team led by Oxford University scientists, will take place in an Ebola treatment centre run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Brincidofovir is an experimental antiviral drug made by Chimerix of Durham in North Carolina, USA.
13th November 2014, John Radcliffe Hospital, Lecture Theatre 1. Featuring: Dr Andrew Brent, Prof David Warrell, Prof Pierro Olliaro, Dr Anna Seale, Dr Paul Newton and Prof Kevin Marsh. 9am to 2pm.
Report on the growth of drug-resistant strains of disease features Professor François Nosten of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit. Researchers at the Unit have identified that 40 per cent of patients are carrying an artemisinin-resistant form of malaria. The problem is spreading to neighbouring countries and could soon reach India and Bangladesh. Professor Nick White says that if the strain spreads to Africa, subsequent deaths could be measured in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Report is at 2.40.01 of the program.