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Study Examines Potential Benefits Of Discordant Couple HIV Therapy

A new study published online in the journal AIDS uses mathematical models to predict the potential impact of treating discordant couples with antiretroviral therapy, according to a Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health press release. Researchers from ICAP at the Mailman School and UCLA’s Center for Biomedical Modeling made predictions…

Lancet Series Revisits Issue Of Global Mental Health Four Years After First Examination

Four years after the Lancet “published a special series on global mental health, highlighting the gap in provision between rich countries and the rest of the world,” the journal has published a new series, including an “editorial accompanying the series, welcom[ing] the initiatives in global mental health in the past four years, but [saying] ‘there is still a long way to go and many challenges to face,'” IRIN reports (10/18).

Despite Progress In Malaria Vaccine Development, Funding Remains Potential 'Stumbling Block'

In this Guardian opinion piece, the newspaper’s health editor, Sarah Boseley, responds to the positive results of a large-scale clinical trial of an experimental malaria vaccine reported on Tuesday and recaps other strides made against the disease in recent years, writing that “there is a way to go yet, with more results from the trial to come, and many uncertainties, including how much this vaccine will cost and who will be persuaded to pay.”

Experimental Vaccine Halves Risk Of Malaria In African Children, Results Of Large Clinical Trial Suggest

“An experimental vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline halved the risk of African children getting malaria in a major clinical trial, making it likely to become the world’s first shot against the deadly disease,” according to a study “presented at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Malaria Forum conference in Seattle and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine” on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Analysis of data from the first 6,000 children to participate in “a final-stage Phase III clinical trial conducted at 11 trial sites in seven countries across sub-Saharan Africa … found that after 12 months of follow-up, three doses of RTS,S reduced the risk of children experiencing clinical malaria and severe malaria by 56 percent and 47 percent, respectively,” the news service writes (Kelland, 10/18). The vaccine was developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the study was partially funded by the Gates Foundation, Inter Press Service notes (Whitman, 10/18).

Study Finds Vitamin D Is Critical In Human Immune Response To Tuberculosis

“Vitamin D is needed to activate the immune system’s response to tuberculosis (TB),” a finding that “could lead to new treatments for the lung disease,” researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) said in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, Agence France-Presse reports. “Researchers have long known that vitamin D plays a role in the body’s response to TB, but the study … shows it must be present in adequate levels to trigger the immune response,” AFP writes.

NIH Awards United Therapeutics $45 Million Contract To Develop Potential Oral Treatment For Viruses

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded United Therapeutics Corporation a contract for up to $45 million over five years “to help develop a potential oral treatment for viruses like influenza and the mosquito-borne tropical fever dengue,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (10/10). The funding comes from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and will be used “for studies directed at the development of a broad-spectrum antiviral drug based on [United Therapeutics'] glycobiology antiviral platform,” according to a press release from United Therapeutics, which adds, “Funding will support the development of a candidate compound through preclinical safety and efficacy studies toward potential clinical trials against dengue” (10/10).

Study Finds Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys From Blinding Trachoma

“An attenuated, or weakened, strain of Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria can be used as a vaccine to prevent or reduce the severity of trachoma, the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness, suggest findings from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study in monkeys,” an NIH press release reports. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine on Tuesday, used cynomolgus macaque monkeys in the experiment “because their immune responses closely predict those of humans,” the press release states. “If this approach demonstrates continued success, the implications could be enormous for the tens of millions of people affected by trachoma, a neglected disease of poverty primarily seen in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, according to the press release (10/10).

Cuts To U.S. Military's HIV Research Program Threaten HIV Vaccine Progress

Fred Sawe, deputy director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project HIV Program in Kericho, Kenya, and Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention, report in Global Health Magazine that “[t]he Department of the Army is set to slash 73 percent of the U.S. Military HIV…

Experts Take Study On Contraceptive Use, HIV Risk Seriously But Warn About Drawing Conclusions Prematurely Because Of Study's 'Methodological Weaknesses'

In this post in RH Reality Check, Jodi Jacobson, editor-in-chief of the blog, responds to an article published in the New York Times on Tuesday regarding a study suggesting that “HIV-negative women using injectable contraception might face a two-fold risk of acquiring HIV from their infected partners, and that HIV-positive women using…

Recap Of Key Briefing On Advancements In Malaria Fight

This post in the Malaria Policy Center blog recaps a Tuesday Capitol Hill briefing, hosted by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), co-chairs of the Senate Working Group on Malaria, “that highlighted research and development advancements by the U.S. military and U.S. academic institutions to develop the tools to eliminate malaria…