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Landmark partnership announced for development of COVID-19 vaccine

Landmark partnership announced for development of COVID-19 vaccine

Posted 30/04/2020
The University of Oxford has today announced an agreement with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacture and potential distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate currently being trialled by the University.  It is the first such partnership to be formed since the Government launched its dedicated Vaccines Taskforce to help find, test and deliver a new coronavirus vaccine just two weeks ago.  It also comes alongside £20 million Government funding for Oxford University’s vaccine research and support for the institution’s clinical trials.
Digital contact tracing can slow or even stop coronavirus transmission and ease us out of lockdown

Digital contact tracing can slow or even stop coronavirus transmission and ease us out of lockdown

Posted 23/04/2020

A team from NDM's Big Data Institute is sharing an epidemiological model to help configure a contact tracing app for coronavirus. The model offers several safe configurations to introduce an app and a framework to optimise the app after it is released. The simulations confirm that if around half the total population use the app, alongside other interventions, it has the potential to stop the epidemic and help to keep countries out of lockdown. These research efforts are supporting several European projects including the UK’s national programme led by NHSX, a joint unit comprised of teams from NHS England and the Department of Health & Social Care.

The RECOVERY Trial has recruited 1000 patients in 15 days

The RECOVERY Trial has recruited 1000 patients in 15 days

Posted 07/04/2020

The world’s largest randomised clinical trial of potential coronavirus treatments is well underway in the UK as part of the race to find a treatment. A number of promising treatments are being tested and, if the science supports it, will be given to NHS patients as quickly as possible.  The trial is being coordinated by NDM's Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health and Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health.

Controlling coronavirus transmission using a mobile app to trace close proximity contacts

Controlling coronavirus transmission using a mobile app to trace close proximity contacts

Posted 31/03/2020

A team of medical researchers and bioethicists at Oxford University has published results today in Science that further our understanding of coronavirus transmission.  Professor Christophe Fraser from the Big Data Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, a lead author on the Science paper explains, “We need a mobile contact tracing app to urgently support health services to control coronavirus transmission, target interventions and keep people safe". 

Oxford's COVID-19 research receives government funding

Oxford's COVID-19 research receives government funding

Posted 24/03/2020
The three projects include work on an effective vaccine, enabling pre-clinical and clinical vaccine trials, as well as supporting researchers to develop manufacturing processes to produce a vaccine at a million-dose scale. Another project will examine how existing treatments could be repurposed to treat coronavirus: Professor Sarah Gilbert, £2.2 million for vaccine development and trials; Professor Peter Horby - £2.1 million for research into the effectiveness of current drugs on COVID-19 and Dr Sandy Douglas – £0.4 million, research into vaccine manufacturing capabilities.
First patients enrolled in new clinical trial of possible COVID-19 treatments

First patients enrolled in new clinical trial of possible COVID-19 treatments

Posted 23/03/2020
There are currently no specific treatments for COVID-19. It is possible that some existing drugs usually used for other conditions may have some benefits – but they may not. The Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY) trial will provide doctors and the health service with information they need to determine which treatments should be used. NDM's Prof Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health and Chief Investigator discusses the trial in this short interview.
Covid-19: how effective is social distancing?

Covid-19: how effective is social distancing?

Posted 23/03/2020
Prof Deirdre Hollingsworth an infectious disease epidemiologist from the BDI discusses social distancing in a podcast with Ian Sample from the Guardian. What is it? How might it help to flatten the curve? And what are some of the big unknowns when it comes to predicting how effective it might be?
Infectious disease experts provide evidence for a coronavirus mobile app for instant contact tracing

Infectious disease experts provide evidence for a coronavirus mobile app for instant contact tracing

Posted 17/03/2020

A team of medical research and bioethics experts are supporting several European governments to explore the feasibility of a coronavirus mobile app for instant contact tracing. BDI's Professor Christophe Fraser explains, 'The instant mobile app concept is very simple.  If you are diagnosed with coronavirus, the people you’ve recently come into contact with will be messaged advising them to isolate. If this mobile app is developed enough people opt-in, we can slow the spread of coronavirus.

Sir Peter Ratcliffe on BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific

Sir Peter Ratcliffe on BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific

Posted 05/02/2020
BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, 2019 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine, Sir Peter Ratcliffe - Listen to Peter talking about how his early medical career led him into a deeply unfashionable area of medicine that would solve how and why our bodies are so clever at being able to fine tune themselves to keep functioning under a range of conditions.  His early ground breaking discoveries may have been initially turned down by a major scientific journal, but he would go on to pave the way for promising new strategies to fight anaemia and many other challenging diseases, most notably cancer.
Wellcome Investigator Awards

Wellcome Investigator Awards

Posted 03/02/2020

Many congratulations to Prof Alison Simmons, who has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award.  Alison Simmons is a Professor of Gastroenterology in NDM and the MRC Human Immunology Unit, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. The Simmons lab works on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a debilitating condition that affects more than 300,000 people in the UK. In IBD, the protective barrier that separates gut luminal microbes from the mucosal immune system is disrupted, leading to inflammation.

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