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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Global study highlights the extent and impact of drug-resistant enteric fever and the urgent need for new approaches
23 December 2019
A new study conducted by Christiane Dolecek and colleagues analysed data on antimicrobial resistance of the bacteria Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi, from around the globe, spanning the time from 1990 to 2018. The study highlights the impact of drug resistance and the urgent need for interventions.
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.
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
A rapidly evolving multi-drug resistant lineage of P. falciparum malaria parasites continues to spread in South East Asia, leading to alarmingly high treatment failure rates in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam for DHA-piperaquine, one of the world’s most important anti-malaria drugs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
18 January 2019
A recent WWARN individual patient meta-analysis has gathered 18 published and unpublished studies from Africa and Asia to explore the relationships between identified Kelch 13 mutant alleles and delayed parasite clearance. The study results show one P. falciparum specific mutant and 20 pfk13 propeller region mutant alleles are strongly associated with the slow clearance phenotype, including 15 mutations that have not been confirmed before. It was reassuring that no pfk13 alleles associated with slow parasite clearance were observed in the parasites from African studies gathered between 2000-2017.
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.
18 December 2018
A new Piperaquine Pharmacokinetics in Pregnancy Study Group is now open for participation at WWARN. The analysis hopes to determine the effect of pregnancy on the pharmacokinetic (PK) properties of piperaquine and contribute evidence to inform decisions on the use and optimal dosing of piperaquine in pregnant women.
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.