4 March 2021
Following WHO recommendations against the use of hydroxychloroquine in the prevention of COVID-19, including its use in controlled trials, we are reviewing the guideline and the available evidence. We are concerned that this judgement from the authors of the guideline is scientifically unsound. A more detailed COPCOV position statement will follow in the upcoming days.
Evidence supports WHO recommendation for primaquine combined with ACTs to block Plasmodium falciparum transmission
12 February 2021
Evidence from a new study, initiated by the Primaquine Roll Out Group and conducted at WWARN, supports the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation for use of 0.25mg/kg dose of primaquine (PQ) combined with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) to block Plasmodium falciparum transmission.
Indonesia’s decision to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination to citizens aged 18-59 years old questionable
4 February 2021
The Indonesian government policy to exclude the elderly in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program could hinder the vaccine’s impact in lowering mortality rates. COVID-19 mortality rates in Indonesia, the highest in Southeast Asia, are dominated by those in the 60 years and above age bracket. In this article published in The Conversation, Kartika Saraswati and fellow DPhil students elaborate how, by prioritising vaccination for elderly, Indonesia may optimally reduce the hospital burden and COVID-19 deaths amidst a limited vaccine supply during the first vaccination phase.
13 January 2021
A study to explore the variations of how microscopy methods are reported in published malaria studies has recommended standardised procedures should be implemented for methodological consistency and comparability of clinical trial outcomes.
16 December 2020
Susie Dunachie joins a prestigious group of leading health researchers in the latest cohort of NIHR Global Research Professors. These awards fund research leaders of the future to promote effective translation of research and to strengthen health, public health and care research leadership at the highest academic levels. Research conducted by Global Research Professors directly benefits people in LMICs. A Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, Susie works on the development of a vaccine to prevent death from melioidosis in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus in LMICs, and supports vaccine research in Thailand. Congratulations!
7 December 2020
Blog by Rima Shretta. Preliminary efficacy results from three vaccine candidates currently in Phase 3 trials have shown an efficacy of more than 90% against the development of symptomatic COVID-19. While these results are promising, all vaccines are in relatively early stages of testing. A comprehensive and transparent roadmap is urgently needed, to determine how limited doses of the first vaccines to be licensed will be distributed, together with which groups will initially be prioritized.
1 December 2020
A new study quantifying the high risk of Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia after treatment of Plasmodium falciparum malaria aims to identify populations in which a policy of universal radical cure, combining artemisinin-based combination therapy with a hypnozoitocidal antimalarial drug, would be most beneficial.
23 November 2020
Dr Clare Ling has been made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath). Currently running Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) Microbiology department and supporting the unit’s molecular activities, Clare is a clinical scientist who has worked at SMRU on the Thai-Myanmar border since 2012.
18 November 2020
On 17 Nov, the Pakistan arm of COPCOV enrolled its first participant at Aga Khan University (AKU), Karachi, as COPCOV Pakistan PI Prof. M. Asim Beg looked on. Prof. Beg will be supported by AKU’s Drs Farah Qamar, Faisal Mahmood, Noshin Nasir, Momin Qazi, Sonia Qureshi and Najia Ghanchi as well as Prof. Saeed Hamid, director of AKU’s Clinical Trials Unit.
9 November 2020
Congratulations to everyone involved in contributing to FIEBRE’s success - the clinical and laboratory staff, hospital, participants and local communities. The team has continued working throughout the COVID-19 epidemic despite national restrictions which slowed down enrolment and limited field activities.
5 November 2020
In the next few months, the first Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials – the majority of them in upper-middle or high-income countries and in specific target populations like young adults – will report their results. How relevant will their study results be for low-resource settings?
30 October 2020
Ethox programme REACH (Resilience, Empowerment and Advocacy in Women's and Children's Health Research) posted a visual research gallery as a Public Engagement project. Six galleries of photos by SMRU's Suphak Nosten depict aspects of migrant workers' daily lives: the Thai-Myanmar border; work; cultural and spiritual values; the often-difficult journeys seeking healthcare; striving for better; and dedicated frontline health workers. Richly coloured, sometimes personal, Suphak’s photography is deeply empathetic and memorable.
30 October 2020
The University of Oxford has awarded CTMGH two new Professors. Elisabeth Ashley - UK-trained physician who specialises in infectious diseases and medical microbiology & virology, and Director of the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU) in Lao PDR since 2019, Liz is conferred the title of Professor of Tropical Medicine. Stuart Blacksell - Senior Research Scientist based at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Thailand, Stuart is conferred the title of Professor of Tropical Microbiology.
28 October 2020
We are pleased to announce that Prof Joel Tarning has been awarded the biennial Grahame-Smith Prize by the British Pharmacological Society for outstanding contributions to clinical pharmacology. Joel has headed MORU's Clinical Pharmacology Department since 2012. Since then, the Department has grown into large, productive group that conducts laboratory- and computer-based pharmacology research.
23 October 2020
Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. To showcase our global research, the University launched a Global Research Map, highlighting areas of research we are conducting overseas.
Parenting for lifelong health for young children, project led by MORU Bioethics & Engagement Amalee McCoy
14 October 2020
The University of Oxford, MORU, the University of Cape Town, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and UNICEF Thailand worked together to promote lifelong health and well-being, and prevent violence against children. Led by Amalee McCoy from MORU Department of Bioethics & Engagement, this project involved the cultural adaptation and testing of an evidence-based parenting intervention for low-income families with children aged 2-9 living in Udon Thani, Thailand.
14 October 2020
MORU’s Mo Yin and MOCRU’s Myo Maung Maung Swe were awarded a prize by the NDM’s Graduate Studies Committee. Very competitive awards, the prizes are given annually to current or recently graduated students of NDM supervisors on the basis of their publication record, the impact and novelty of their research, references, and research within their department.
Large scale systematic review details causes of non-malarial febrile illnesses globally and identifies research priorities
21 September 2020
A series of articles that set out to explore the global distribution of infections that cause non-malarial febrile illness has been published in BMC Medicine. The series brings together the results of large-scale systematic reviews of the causes of fever in Africa, Latin America, and Southern and South-Eastern Asia, and has helped identify major knowledge gaps, geographical differences, priority areas for diagnostics research and development, and enabled the most comprehensive systematic review of literature to date.
15 September 2020
We are delighted to announce that Professor Paul Newton has won the Helen-Clark-JoPPP Award for Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice Research. This award is based on the scientific merit of his work, as well as its impact on patients, decisions makers, and on governments. It recognizes the talents of exceptional researchers who are making a significant contribution to the field of pharmaceutical policy and practice.
10 September 2020
Research Malaria Microscopy Standards (ReMMS) applicable to malaria clinical research studies have been published in Malaria Journal. The paper describes the rationale for proposed standards to prepare, stain and examine blood films for malaria parasites.
Hydroxychloroquine doses in COVID-19 prevention trials should be safe, study finds. Now let’s find out if they’re effective.
10 September 2020
As the world waits impatiently for a COVID-19 vaccine, an exhaustive review of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine pharmacology suggests that the doses used in COVID-19 prevention trials are safe, say University of Oxford affiliated researchers in a study published in PLoS Medicine.
3 September 2020
Oxford University’s enduring global reputation, cutting edge research and unique teaching environment have helped retain first place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for a fifth consecutive year. THE rankings use 13 separate performance indicators to cover universities’ core missions across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The award follows a year when the University of Oxford has been at the centre of international attention for its work on finding a vaccine for COVID-19 as well as taking a leading role in trialling therapeutic drugs and antibody testing.
6 August 2020
Hydroxychloroquine could still prevent COVID-19 and save tens of thousands of lives around the world, say leading scientific researchers. While it doesn’t work in treatment of hospitalised patients, it could still prevent infections. However, fraudulent data, unjustified extrapolation and exaggerated safety concerns together with intense politicisation and negative publicity may stop COPCOV, the only large, global clinical trial testing hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 prevention, from ever finding out.
5 August 2020
Blog by Professor Christiane Dolecek. Antimicrobial resistance is a critical problem in enteric fever. Drug-resistant infections can have severe consequences, and slowing their spread requires our urgent attention. The most important intervention is to reduce the number of infections; vaccines are a critical tool, alongside surveillance and diagnosis. To achieve this control, strong partnerships between WHO, governments, NGOs, academia, private sector and communities are needed.
21 July 2020
IDDO and MORU released its Medicine Quality Scientific Literature Surveyor. The surveyor delivers summaries of published scientific reports on the quality of the classes of essential medicines listed below, across regions and over time. We hope it will help medicine regulators, scientists, health professionals, purchasers and officials fill critical information gaps.
14 July 2020
The results of the University of Oxford’s Recognition of Distinction exercise for Associate Professor and University Research Lecturer are in, and I am delighted to announce that the University has conferred titles on the following MORU staff:
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.
COVID-19 prevention and treatment: a critical analysis of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine clinical pharmacology
20 June 2020
Paper by NJ White et al, PLoS Medicine, in press. Using available pharmacokinetic information from healthy volunteers, the treatment of malaria, the chronic treatment of rheumatological conditions and the toxicokinetics of chloroquine in self-poisoning, the authors predict exposures and safety margins in the high dose chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 prevention and treatment regimens currently under evaluation. These regimens are predicted to have reasonable safety margins. Large, well conducted randomised clinical trials with appropriate monitoring are required to determine if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have preventive or treatment efficacy in COVID-19 and acceptable safety. Current recommendations for their use outside of clinical trials are not justified at this time.
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.
29 May 2020
The results of Mehra et al in The Lancet have had a considerable impact on public health practice and research, halted trials and caused considerable concern to participants and patients enrolled in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). This has led many researchers around the world to scrutinise in detail the publication and outline their concerns in this letter to Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet.
26 May 2020
We received notice from the UK's MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) to pause for now new enrolment into our COPCOV study. We responded promptly to the MHRA, addressing their concerns in detail and await their decision. For now, COPCOV study enrolment is paused around the globe. The safety of our participants is our first priority, as is preventing illness in front-line healthcare workers.
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.
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.