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Baricitinib – an anti-inflammatory treatment for rheumatoid arthritis– is being investigated in the RECOVERY trial, the world’s largest clinical trial of treatments for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, taking place in 177 hospital sites across the UK and with over 33,000 patients recruited so far. As an anti-inflammatory, baricitinib may block the signalling activity of cytokine molecules which contribute to the hyper-inflammatory state seen in severe COVID-19. It is thought that baricitinib may act also have some anti-viral activity. The other treatments currently being investigated in the RECOVERY trial are Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, Aspirin and Colchicine.
Awards & Appointments MORU OCGHR
22 September 2021
Every year, the Nuffield Department of Medicine awards NDM Prizes to our most outstanding students. This year, Mo yin and Rebecca Inglis (both at MORU) were highly commended in the category NDM Overall Prize, for conducting research with an outstanding impact. Will Schilling (MORU) received a prize as first year DPhil student, and Mohammad Ali (OCGHR) as second year DPhil student. Our warmest congratulations to you all!
New study alerts to the risk of poor quality medicines used to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease
21 September 2021
There are important but neglected issues with substandard and falsified medicines and medical products used to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. From limited available data, MORU and IDDO scientists found about one fifth of medicines reported as sampled in the literature were substandard or falsified. This systematic review suggests that more and better quality data and data sharing are needed to better understand the global burden of this problem and inform interventions.
21 September 2021
The fast spread of the highly infectious Delta variant underscores the need for faster identification of COVID-19 mutations. Uniting governments and medical communities in this challenge, the University of Oxford and Oracle’s Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS) is now being used by organizations on nearly every continent. Institutions using the platform include OUCRU in Vietnam and institutions in Canada, Chile, Australia and the UK. GPAS is also now part of the Public Health England New Variant Assessment Platform.
Awards & Appointments KWTRP MORU OUCRU
14 September 2021
Following the meeting of the Medical Sciences Divisional Committee to consider applications for the conferral of the title of Associate Professor, we are pleased to announce that Rashan Haniffa, Dorcas Kamuya, Isabella Oyier, Le Van Tan and Timothy Walker have been awarded the title Associate Professor
14 September 2021
A new, large-scale systematic review published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases has identified clear, significant research gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease. The paper also highlights significant differences in study design, diagnostic methods, duration of follow-up, and the timing of outcome assessment used by investigators even in the last decade.
Reducing children’s exposure to malaria in their early years substantially cuts the risk of hospitalisation.
2 September 2021
For the first time in more than two decades, a team from the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and University of Oxford have quantified the risk of children suffering severe outcomes from malaria - which can have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of children who are admitted to hospital with severe malaria every year.
Awards & Appointments General
2 September 2021
The University of Oxford remains top of the table in latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In a year dominated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the rankings reflect the vital role of universities in understanding and managing the crisis as a number of institutions around the world saw significant boosts in their citation scores from Covid-19 focused research.
Awards & Appointments KWTRP
24 August 2021
The Royal Society Africa Prize 2021 is awarded to Professor George Warimwe for his work on zoonoses vaccine development, capacity building in Africa, and his innovative research proposal. This Prize recognises research scientists based in Africa who are making an innovative contribution to the sciences.
23 August 2021
Despite the limitations and paucity of data, the most comprehensive review of visceral leishmaniasis to date in pregnant women and vertical transmission of leishmaniasis has confirmed that liposomal amphotericin B is the safest treatment option and it is critical to ensure access to this.
17 August 2021
A team of KWTRP scientists carried out a major genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Kenya during the early phase of the epidemic (March – July 2020). Researchers provide evidence for at least 35-40 unique introductions of the virus in the coast region – specifically the epidemic that was largely observed in Mombasa County.
30 July 2021
A 6-week recruitment burst at Aga Khan University in Pakistan led the way as COPCOV enrolment broke 1600 participants. Led by MORU, COPCOV is the world’s largest trial trying to determine if hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prevent COVID-19.
MSc IHTM News
28 July 2021
Student Dennis Mazingi (cohort 2020-2021) co-authored this paper focused on the importance of a prompt diagnosis and treatment of intussusception in Zimbabwe. Their findings highlight the need to improve early diagnosis of intussusception and prompt referral of patients for treatment.
21 July 2021
An international team, led by Phaik Yeong Cheah, conducted an anonymous online survey from May-June 2020, asking 5,058 people in Thailand, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Italy and Slovenia to share their experiences. Anne Osterrieder and colleagues report the unequal impacts of public health measures, and the prevalence of ‘fake news’.
Awards & Appointments OCGHR
20 July 2021
The RECOVERY Trial has won the Project Management Institute’s Special Covid-19 UK Response Project Award. The award specifically recognised RECOVERY’s work to investigate whether the cheap steroid dexamethasone was an effective treatment for patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19.
19 July 2021
COVID-19 has exposed our vulnerability to pandemic infections and shown what works, and what does not. It has tested the effectiveness of the Oxford-based global, open-source, collaborative approach set up 10 years ago to prevent illness and deaths from infectious disease outbreaks: ISARIC, the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium.
9 July 2021
As high COVID-19 daily cases and highly transmissible variants risk overwhelming countries’ healthcare systems, COPCOV, the world’s last-standing large prophylaxis RCT, faces tight timelines to determine whether chloroquine/ hydroxychloroquine prevents COVID-19
8 July 2021
About one-third of children diagnosed with severe malaria may instead have an alternative cause of illness, but simple blood tests could help researchers distinguish between the two and speed up research on new treatments.
30 June 2021
The RECOVERY trial has been jointly awarded Health Data Research UK’s 2021 Impact of the Year Award. This award is open to projects which had effectively used health data to improve people’s lives, including through clinical practice, policy, software, algorithms, or publications. The award was presented by James O’Shaughnessy at HDR UK’s online Annual Scientific Conference: Data Insights in a Pandemic.
22 June 2021
Nguyen Lam Vuong, Sophie Yacoub & colleagues have identified a combination of biological markers in patients with dengue that could predict whether they go on to develop moderate to severe disease. Biomarkers are used to identify the state or risk of a disease in patients; these findings could aid the development of biomarker panels for clinical use and help improve triage and risk prediction in patients with dengue.
20 June 2021
A new study led by the University of Oxford has found that previous infection, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, does not necessarily protect you long-term from COVID-19, particularly against new Variants of Concern.