Current UK PHRST update:
UK Public Health Rapid Support Team deploys to Sierra Leone to help prevent disease outbreaks
The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST) is deploying to Sierra Leone to help reduce the risk of a disease outbreak following the deadly landslides in Freetown. The UK-PHRST team deploying includes experts in tracking the progress of an outbreak (epidemiologists) and diagnosing its cause (microbiologists), as well as a logistician.
For further information please see the following website:
UK Public Health Rapid Support Team appoints first Director
Professor Daniel Bausch has been appointed Director of the new UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST). ERGO is proud to provide clinical research capabilities to this vital initiative, and the whole team looks forward to working with the new Director.
For further information, please see the following websites:
How researchers rose to the challenge of Ebola
A Times Higher Education feature looking back on the Ebola crisis of 2014 includes comment from several Oxford University researchers who helped to fight the outbreak. ERGO's Peter Horby, The Global Health Network's Trudie Lang, and the Jenner Institute's Adrian Hill are all quoted.
You can read the full article on the THE website here.
ERGO is proud to provide the clinical research capabilities in the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK PHRST)
The UK PHRST will be a fully operational team of health experts who can be deployed to tackle outbreaks anywhere in the world within 48 hours. The initiative will jointly be run by Public Health England and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, with the University of Oxford and King's College London joining as academic partners. The team will respond to urgent requests from affected countries and assist in tackling the disease outbreaks together with healthcare workers from the affected country.
ERGO is looking forward to being a part of this unique team and delivering the clinical research for this important public health initiative. More information can be found on the following websites:
Clinical trial for experimental Ebola drug publishes results
Results of the Wellcome Trust funded trial of the experimental anti-Ebola drug TKM-130803 have been published today 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.
TKM-130803 interferes with the production of two essential Ebola virus proteins and has been shown to improve survival when given to monkeys experimentally infected with Ebola virus. Scientists from the University of Oxford and Sierra Leone worked with the humanitarian organisation GOAL Global, the World Health Organization, and collaborators from a number of other institutions to test whether TKM-130803 could improve survival in adults with Ebola infection.
The researchers used a new approach to generate early evidence of effectiveness or ineffectiveness. This method can be used as a tool to screen potential therapies and determine the need for further studies (including randomised controlled trials) during an epidemic. The approach meant that the study was quickly able to reach a pre-defined point to stop the trial.
The data from the trial will be accessible to appropriately qualified researchers by application to the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory Ebola Data Access Committee (http://www.iddo.org/).
Professor Peter Horby recieves a medal from the Vietnam Ministry of Health
Photograph: Professor Tran Quoc Kham, Vietnam’s Vice Minister of Science and Technology presenting medals to Professors Heiman Wertheim and Peter Horby
Congratulations to professors Peter Horby and Heiman Wertheim who were awarded the Vietnam Ministry of Health’s Medal “For the People’s Health" at a ceremony celebrating 10 years of collaboration between the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit.
The People’s Health Medal is a top honour awarded to individuals who have made a major contribution to health in Vietnam. The medal was awarded for Professor Horby’s contribution to infectious and tropical diseases research in Vietnam since 2003 when Professor Horby started working with Vietnamese colleagues to investigate and control the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Professor Horby established the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi in January 2006. The Wellcome Trust and Nuffield Department of Medicine in the UK have been instrumental in funding the unit’s infrastructure and building it’s capacity. This has enabled it to enhance the quality of diagnosis, treatment and research into infectious diseases in Vietnam and make a positive contribution to clinical practice and health policies implemented by the Ministry of Health.
Please see the Universty of Oxford's website for more information.