In the 2013-2016 west Africa outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), most of the planned clinical trials failed to reach a conclusion within the time frame of the epidemic. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation of commonly used two- and multi-arm clinical trial designs based on real data, which was recorded during the 2013-16 EVD epidemic in west Africa
Clinical Trials of Therapeutics for the Prevention of Congenital Zika Virus Disease: Challenges and Potential Solutionsby Alex Salam, Amanda Rojek, Jake Dunning, Peter Horby
This article evaluates the major challenges in choosing therapeutics to prevent congenital ZIKV disease and conducting clinical trials of these treatments, with a focus on preventing congenital central nervous system malformations. This article was first published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
This paper proposes a generic ordinal sequential trial design (GOST) for a randomised clinical trial comparing an experimental treatment for an emerging infectious disease with standard care. The design is intended as an off-the-shelf, ready-to-use robust and flexible option. This article was first published in PLOS.
With video. Results of the Wellcome Trust funded trial of the experimental anti-Ebola drug TKM-130803 have been published in PLoS Medicine. Using a novel approach designed to get rapid indications of a drug’s effectiveness, the trial showed that at the dose given the drug did not improve survival compared to historic controls.
Charvy Narain describes how Oxford medics found themselves on the front line
This article discusses the designs used for two such clinical trials which have recruited patients in Liberia and Sierra Leone. General principles are outlined for trial designs intended to be deployed quickly, adapt flexibly and provide results soon enough to influence the course of the current epidemic rather than just providing evidence for use should Ebola break out again. Lessons are drawn for the conduct of clinical research in future outbreaks of infectious diseases, where the sequence of events may or may not be similar to the West African Ebola epidemic. The paper was published in Clinical Trials.
This article describes the treatments tested during the recent Ebola outbreak, it was published in Science on the 31st of December 2015.
The article in The Conversation today discusses the recent NEJM publication where a consortium led by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine examined the utility of convalescent plasma in treating Ebola during the recent epidemic.
Very few treatments have been sucessful in treating Ebola. Convalescent plasma has been used sucessfully to treat a number of diseases, the Ebola Tx consortium examined the utility of using convalescent plasma to treat Ebola patients attending an Ebola Treatment Centre in Guinea.
Could scientists make history and change the way we deal with outbreaks?