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.

24th March 2017 • comment

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.

24th March 2017 • comment

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.

26th April 2016 • comment

Trial design for evaluating novel treatments during an outbreak of an infectious disease

by John Whitehead, Piero Olliaro, Trudie Lang , Peter Horby

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.

22nd January 2016 • comment