UK regulator gives green light to clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19 in healthcare workers
29 June 2020
The UK regulator MHRA announced on 26 June that it would again permit recruitment to the COPCOV COVID-19 prevention clinical trial. The MHRA decision came 5 weeks after it reacted immediately to the now-discredited paper published in The Lancet suggesting harms with hydroxychloroquine, and paused recruitment of UK participants. But The Lancet paper was based on fabricated data and was swiftly retracted. After this interruption, recruitment around the globe to COPCOV can now resume.
9 June 2020
On 4 June 2020, after a week of increasing scientific concern and scrutiny, first The Lancet, then the New England Journal of Medicine, retracted studies that were based on inaccessible data. The studies have been extremely damaging to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 clinical trials around the globe. MORU researchers played a key role in bringing this scandal to light, whose consequences continue to play out.
Clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine/ chloroquine in COVID-19. Statement in response to damaging recent events
5 June 2020
On 4 June 2020, after a week of increasing scientific concern and scrutiny, first The Lancet, then a little over an hour later the New England Journal of Medicine, retracted studies that were based on inaccessible data, provided by the Surgisphere corporation. The studies have been extremely damaging to chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 clinical trials around the globe. Here is MORU’s statement in response to these events.
Global clinical trial of 40,000+ healthcare workers begins to test in UK if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19
21 May 2020
A global study to test if either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 in vital frontline healthcare workers will open to UK participants at hospital sites in Brighton and Oxford today.
1 May 2020
The SEBCOV study aims to produce evidence to inform public health measures such as communications, quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing and travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is run in four countries: UK, Thailand, Italy and Malaysia.
29 April 2020
The Epidemiology Department of MORU and National Malaria Control Programme, Cambodia (CNM) have begun to implement a study to assess the efficacy of prophylaxis with artemether-lumefantrine (PAL) against forest malaria in Siem Pang District, north-eastern Cambodia bordering Laos.
24 April 2020
The impact of COVID-19 is quite evident at present – entire countries and cities are under lockdown, offices and industries shut and academia at a standstill. However, many people in Bangladesh remain unaware or indifferent to the warnings and safety protocols that ought to be followed to stop COVID-19’s spread. Since enforcing social distancing in a densely populated country like Bangladesh is very challenging, making people aware and maintenance of hygiene are the main means to stop the spread of COVID-19.
23 April 2020
Less than a month after it was announced, the MORU-led COPCOV study has made quick progress and expects to begin enrolling participants by the end of April.
10 April 2020
Global health experts have united in a call for governments and international organisations around the world to plan strategically for the coordinated production, equitable distribution and surveillance of COVID-19 medical products to ensure access to quality-assured medications for everyone.
BBC World News interviews Nick White on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: “These drugs are not harmless, they’re dangerous in over-dose.”
6 April 2020
There are currently no proven vaccines or drugs to prevent COVID-19. In this BBC World News interview, MORU’s Prof Sir Nick White explains why the only way to find out if chloroquine and hydroxychloriquine work against COVID-19 is via randomised, clinical trials and how the hype over chloroquine negatively affects people with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
30 March 2020
Researchers at MORU and two institutions in the US (University of Washington and La Jolla Institute for Immunology) receive grants from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a large-scale initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed the development of and access to therapies for COVID-19.
30 March 2020
The problem of substandard and falsified (SF) medical products affects all countries but few regulatory authorities or pharmaceutical companies have policies of publicly releasing data. As a first step in tracking this global issue, IDDO’s Medicine Quality Research Group, with the MORU Tropical Health Network and supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust, has today launched a new, free-to-use, online tool, the Medicine Quality Monitoring Globe, (MQM Globe) which maps SF news reports worldwide in real time.
11 March 2020
Adding a third anti-malaria drug to current artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) provides effective treatment against multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia, say Oxford researchers in a study in The Lancet. Using TACTs should extend current malaria drugs so drug-resistant malaria doesn't kill millions more and derail hopes of controlling and eliminating malaria.
10 January 2020
When we are ill, we expect our medicines to work as intended. But what if they do not contain the ingredients listed on the packaging? The Pharmacide Arts exhibition “What’s in your medicines?” showcases the original artwork of 11 South East Asian artists. The exhibition is open to the public from 26th-28th January 2020 at the Mandarin Hotel, Bangkok, from 10 am – 5 pm.
22 November 2019
Professor Joel Tarning received a Bailey K. Ashford Medal at the ASTMH 2019 Conference. The medal is awarded annually for distinguished work in tropical medicine by an early- to mid-career ASMTH member. Joel is Head of Clinical Pharmacology at MORU and his work focuses on applying pharmacokinetic-phamacodynamic modelling to optimise antimalarial drug therapies, in particular for at-risk groups such as malnourished children and pregnant women.
8 November 2019
Noting that substandard and falsified medical products (including medicines, vaccines, biologics, and diagnostics) represent a significant and growing threat to human health, The Lancet Global Health published 'The Global access to quality-assured medical products: the Oxford Statement and call to action'. The Oxford Statement has been signed by 159 attendees at the 2018 Oxford Conference on Medicine Quality and Public Health from governments, multilateral agencies, academia and civil society.
16 October 2019
When we are ill, we trust that the medicines that we take will make us feel and be better. But what if our pills do not contain the ingredients listed on the packaging? The art exhibition ‘What’s in your medicines?’ explores how substandard and falsified (‘fake’) medicines can affect our health, by showcasing the striking and original artwork of 12 South East Asian artists.
9 October 2019
Oxford Medical Sciences Divisional Panel has conferred the title of Professor on three members of our Centre. Ben Cooper - Professor of Epidemiology, Sassy Molyneux - Professor of Global Health and Piero Olliaro - Professor of Poverty Related Infectious Diseases were awarded these titles in recognition of their distinction in their respective fields and contributions to the research, teaching and administration of the Department and we congratulate them on their success!
New research supports co-administration of primaquine with artemisinin-based combination therapies for P. vivax malaria
8 October 2019
An individual patient data meta-analysis of 2,017 patients from 19 studies has found a high risk of recurrence following treatment of P. vivax malaria with artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) unless they are co-administered with primaquine. The research supports recommendations that these artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) should be combined with primaquine.
18 September 2019
MORU and SMRU were delighted and honoured to host the University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor Prof Louise Richardson and her party during her visit to Thailand on 1-4 September. Accompanying the Vice-Chancellor were Jeremy Woodall (Director of Development (Asia)), Frewyeni Kidane (Fundraiser for Southeast Asia), Cher Wu (Asia Development office) and Ed Gibbs (NDM Director of Finance and Operations).
18 September 2019
In partnership with the Wellcome Innovations Flagship Programme, MORU launched its Critical Care Asia Network project with its first investigators’ meeting on 19-20 Aug in Bangkok. The project will establish an Asian ICU network across 42 ICUs in nine countries and implement a setting-adapted electronic registry.
24 July 2019
MORU researchers have found that severe malnutrition is associated with lower exposure to the antimalarial drug lumefantrine in children treated with artemether-lumefantrine, the most common treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. The study, which is the first to specifically address this, calls urgently for further research into optimised dosing regimens for undernourished children.
Rapidly spreading multidrug-resistant parasites render frontline malaria drug ineffective in southeast Asia
23 July 2019
The findings of two studies, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, reveal that by 2016–2018 malaria parasites resistant to both artemisinin and its widely used partner drug piperaquine represented more than 80% of the parasites circulating in northeast Thailand and Vietnam, despite having only emerged in western Cambodia in 2008.
19 July 2019
A large clinical trial in Africa and Asia has shown that a 7 day course of high dose primaquine, a drug used to treat P. vivax malaria, is well tolerated and just as effective as the current standard 14 day regimen, according to a study published this week in The Lancet. These findings have important implications for the treatment and elimination of vivax malaria in the Asia Pacific.
17 July 2019
Medical Action Myanmar and MOCRU health teams identified a number of children with rickets in remote areas of Myanmar. MOCRU director Frank Smithuis presented the findings of clinical screening to the Minister of Health, alongside treatment results and a plan for a large survey to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its underlying causes.
10 July 2019
A project using drama that engages with village communities in Cambodia, led by Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Nuffield Department of Medicine, has won a Project award in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards. The project also won the Vice-Chancellor’s Choice Award for Public Engagement with Research.
2 July 2019
New research by Makoto Saito and colleagues at SMRU found that a longer follow-up is required to assess antimalarial drug efficacy in pregnant women. This was found across all drugs assessed in low malaria transmission settings. The report’s authors have called for guidelines specifically for pregnant women and further investigation of optimal follow-up periods in high malaria transmission settings.
12 June 2019
A ground-breaking study in Bangladesh co-lead by MORU has found that using data from mobile phone networks to track the movement of people across the country can help predict where outbreaks of diseases such as malaria are likely to occur, enabling health authorities to take preventative measures.
4 June 2019
MORU, SMRU and FilmAid Foundation invite you to the Bangkok Premiere of Under the Mask on the 17th June. This drama film is based on real testimonies of TB patients. The story follows the lives of our characters as they journey from diagnosis to treatment and help from the SMRU TB team, and explores how each discovers their capacity to overcome the deadly disease and share their knowledge and experience with others. Made in the local language, this film provides an engaging and inspiring tool for raising TB awareness in the community.
10 May 2019
This year, the Pint of Science festival in Thailand is in not one but two cities! Join us in Bangkok at WeLearn on 21st-22nd May, and at Hungry Wolf's in Chiang Rai on 25th May.
10 May 2019
The 5th May is World Hand Hygiene Day. To raise awareness among staff and the Thai-Myanmar border populations of the importance of hand washing, a simple, proven effective way of infection prevention, the SMRU infection control committee worked with the SMRU clinics and Mae Sot lab staff to create this fantastic video.
7 May 2019
How to change urban Myanmar communities' antibiotics usage habits? Check out 'Fever and Antibiotic Use', a Wellcome-funded community theatre initiative by MOCRU Research Coordinator Dr Myo Maung Maung Swe. Myo uses forum theatre to engage Yangon residents in a lively manner so they can learn when to use antibiotics – or not.
3 May 2019
This 5-day course is aimed at participants with a basic understanding of infectious disease modelling and an aptitude for the R programming language. On completion participants will be able to write and analyse the dynamics of a simple mathematical model and use it to consider cost and intervention scenarios. September 23-27 at St Anne’s College, Oxford
30 April 2019
To mark World Malaria Day on 25 April WWARN’s Dr Makoto Saito and Professor Joel Tarning from the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Head of WWARN Pharmacometrics presented their work on prevention and treatment of malaria in vulnerable groups at a seminar hosted by the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health
25 April 2019
Increased funding is needed to eliminate malaria across 22 Asia-Pacific countries and save an estimated 400,000 lives, according to research published in a new collection of studies on Wellcome Open Research.
3 April 2019
How do you go about building all the skills you need at the start of your research career? Cherry Lim from our MORU unit in Bangkok, Thailand, was lucky to find a good mentor who guided her through this journey, but her own ceaseless curiosity and excitement about research were also important.
26 March 2019
Rob van der Pluijm presented encouraging findings from TRAC II trial analyses of Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapies to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & NTDs on March 19th in Westminster at the Houses of Parliament.
6 March 2019
Lorenz Von Seidlein tells SciDev.Net that mass drug administration as “presumptive treatment” to clear the parasite reservoir was carried out in eight villages spread across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. By the third month, the prevalence of P. falciparum had decreased by 92 % in those villages. Over the subsequent nine months, P. falciparum infections returned but stayed well below baseline levels, showing that MDA can stop transmission of falciparum malaria and reduce its prevalence in SE Asia, where resistance to artemisinin has hampered elimination efforts.
1 March 2019
Working closely with the University of British Columbia (UBC)'s Support Program to Advance Research Capacity (SPARC), MORU Malaria Researcher Dr Katherine Plewes was recently awarded a 3-year, C$971,551 grant for her study on Evaluating the renoprotective effect of acetaminophen in pediatric severe falciparum malaria: A randomized controlled trial.
26 February 2019
On 12 Feb 2019, Professor Arjen Dondorp published a new book: Sepsis Management in Resource-limited Settings. The result of a 3-year project led by MORU and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM), the book was written by critical care physicians from around the globe.
12 February 2019
On 24-25 Jan 2019, investigators met in Bangkok to launch the Developing Triple Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (DeTACT) Project. Led by MORU and funded by UKaid and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), DeTACT is a large, 14 site trial in 8 African and 5 Asian countries that will study the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapy (TACT) combinations, using combinations of existing antimalarial drugs.
16 January 2019
Malaria causes nearly half a million deaths worldwide every year. Ninety percent of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, where poor infrastructure limits delivery of drugs. But now there is worry that those drugs are losing effectiveness as disease strains become resistant. PBS News Hour special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Cambodia, where scientists are researching and tracking new outbreaks.
18 December 2018
An inspiring doctor and scientist of great compassion and intellect, Sir David Weatherall died 8 Dec 2018. A Nuffield Professor of Medicine, founder of the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and a member of Wellcome’s Board throughout the 1990s, Sir David was instrumental in the creation of MORU back in 1979.
12 December 2018
This article, written by Professor Nick Day at MORU and published in the November 2018 issue of the Oxford Alumni Newsletter, describes in a nutshell all the good work our Centre is doing to promote Global Oxford.
21 November 2018
Over 200 delegates travelled from more than 50 countries to attend the first ever conference on Medicine Quality and Public Health (MQPH 2018) in Oxford from 23-28 Sept. The conference, at Keble College, brought together experts in pharmacy, public health, chemistry, law, sociology, governance and ethics, from medicines regulatory authorities, academia, pharmaceutical industry, NGOs, and international organisations.
20 November 2018
Progress against malaria has stalled, and the disease remains a significant threat to billions of people despite the expensive, decades-long efforts to contain it. In an encouraging development, MORU reported complete success in curing hundreds of patients in Southeast Asia with new three-drug combinations mixing fast-acting artemisinin with two longer-lasting drugs. It it hoped that triple therapy should become the standard for malaria treatment.
9 November 2018
A systematic review analyses the results of 177 trials conducted between 1982 and 2016, including 18,436 patients who underwent electrocardiographic evaluation during malaria clinical trials. Nick White and colleagues found that serious cardiovascular side effects, which include sudden cardiac death, are very rare in the treatment of malaria with quinoline antimalarials. The work emphasises the importance of continued pharmacovigilance with the increasing use of quinoline antimalarials in mass treatment strategies such as intermittent preventative treatment and mass drug administration.
7 November 2018
The incidence of malaria has continued to drop dramatically in remote rural villages in Myanmar after community workers trained only to detect and treat malaria began providing basic health care as well as malaria services, researchers affiliated with MOCRU, our Myanmar-Oxford Clinical Research Unit, have said.
7 November 2018
The manufacture and distribution of medicines is a global industry, tainted by fake and substandard products. Not only might these drugs not work as expected, but some are even contributing to antimicrobial resistance. So, what’s in your medicine cabinet? This is an article on Mosaic, a Wellcome publication