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Health - Pharmacology - 21.12.2020
Large study in UK NHS labs shows gold-standard accuracy of Oxford Nanopore’s COVID-19 test LamPORE for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients
A study of more than 23,000 samples carried out by teams across the UK shows Oxford Nanopore's COVID-19 test, LamPORE, is highly accurate for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, in both symptomatic and asymptomatic population settings. The study was performed on both swab and saliva samples across four NHS sites, showing very high LamPORE test accuracy, as follows: These data support the use of LamPORE for testing of both symptomatic people, and those without symptoms.

Health - Pharmacology - 18.12.2020
AI-supported test predicts eye disease three years before symptoms
A pioneering new eye test, developed by scientists at UCL in collaboration with the Western Eye Hospital, London, may predict wet AMD, a leading cause of severe sight loss, three years before symptoms develop. Researchers hope their test could be used to identify the disease early enough so that treatment can effectively prevent any vision loss.

Pharmacology - Health - 16.12.2020
Common drug for build-up of blood following head injury worse than placebo
A commonly-used treatment for chronic subdural haematoma - the build-up of 'old' blood in the space between the brain and the skull, usually as a result of minor head injury - could lead to a worse outcome than receiving no medication, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. Our trial sought to determine if dexamethasone should be offered routinely to all patients with chronic subdural haematoma or if its use should be abandoned.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.12.2020
Study highlights stark inequality in survival after cardiac surgery between paying and NHS patients
A new study has revealed paying patients are 20 per cent less likely to die or develop major complications, such as reintervention or stroke, after cardiac surgery than NHS patients - findings researchers say cannot be explained by socioeconomic factors alone. The study, led by academics at the University of Bristol, looked at the data of over 280,000 patients who underwent adult cardiac surgery over a ten-year period from 2009 to 2018 at 31 NHS cardiac units in England.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.12.2020
Remdesivir likely to be highly effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 for some patients
The drug remdesivir is likely to be a highly effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2, according to a new study by a team of UK scientists. Writing , the researchers describe giving the drug to a patient with COVID-19 and a rare immune disorder, and observing a dramatic improvement in his symptoms and the disappearance of the virus.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2020
New study to evaluate antibiotic use in COVID-19 hospital patients
A group of researchers is to evaluate whether a simple blood test for bacterial infection could help to reduce the use of antibiotics in patients with COVID-19. A procalcitonin blood test (PCT) is used in hospitals to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections and guide antibiotic treatment.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2020
New treatment could spare early-stage rectal cancer patients life-altering side effects
A new and less invasive treatment developed by Cancer Research UK researchers is safer than standard major surgery for early-stage rectal cancer, giving patients a better quality of life with fewer life-altering side effects, results from a pilot study show. Results from the TREC trial show that a combination of local keyhole surgery and radiotherapy, rather than major surgery that removes the whole rectum, prevents debilitating side effects, such as diarrhoea, or the need for a permanent colostomy bag.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.12.2020
First peer-reviewed results of phase 3 human trials of Oxford coronavirus vaccine demonstrate efficacy
Our vaccine work is progressing quickly. To ensure you have the latest information or to find out more about the trial, please visit the  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine web hub  or visit the  COVID-19 trial website .

Pharmacology - Health - 08.12.2020
Better education needed to give patients improved understanding of gene therapies, new review highlights
A new review of research bringing together patient, carer and public views of cell and gene therapies has highlighted a need for appropriate education to better inform people including how clinical trials work and the risks and benefits of various treatments. Over the last decade, new cell, gene and tissue-engineered therapies have been developed to treat various cancers, inherited diseases and some chronic conditions.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.12.2020
Analysis finds four repurposed antiviral drugs have little or no effect on patients hospitalised for COVID-19
Repurposed antiviral drugs - remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon - to treat COVID-19 appear to have little or no effect on patients hospitalised for the disease, in terms of overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay. The interim findings from the WHO Solidarity trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), followed 11,266 adults at 405 hospitals in 30 countries.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2020
Scientists identify warning signs over effectiveness of HIV ’wonder drug’ in sub-Saharan Africa
Dolutegravir, the current first-line treatment for HIV, may not be as effective as hoped in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests new research published on World AIDS Day. The study finds that this so-called 'wonder drug' may be less effective in patients resistant to older drugs. Dolutegravir was very much seen as a 'wonder drug', but our study suggests it might not be as effective in a significant number of patients who are resistant to another important class of antiretroviral drugs Ravi Gupta As HIV copies itself and replicates, it can develop errors, or 'mutations', in its genetic code (its RNA).

Pharmacology - Psychology - 27.11.2020
Treatment for drug addiction - how do patients cope in lockdown?
There are encouraging signs that people in treatment for drug addiction can manage their medication when they are entrusted with a substantial quantity of opiate substitutes and told to take it in small daily doses, finds a new 'early insight' report from researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Bath.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.11.2020
New immunotherapy shows promise against rare childhood cancer
A novel CAR T-cell therapy developed by researchers at UCL and designed to target cancerous tumours, has shown promising early results in children with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. For this proof-of-principle study, researchers at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health (GOS ICH) and the UCL Cancer Institute modified the patient's own T-cells (a type of immune cell), equipping them to recognise and kill neuroblastoma tumour cells.

Pharmacology - Health - 25.11.2020
New breakthrough in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) could soon benefit from a new drug treatment that not only suppresses inflammation but also significantly reduces patient reported pain scores. Otilimab is a monoclonal antibody, biologic drug, which targets and suppresses the inflammatory cytokine GM-CSF. In a multicentre, dose-ranging trial, led by Professor Chris Buckley at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, and sponsored by the Pharmaceutical company GSK, researchers explored the clinical effects of otilimab to prevent inflammation, tissue damage and pain in people with RA.

Health - Pharmacology - 24.11.2020
Rhythm and bleughs: how changes in our stomach’s rhythms steer us away from disgusting sights
Does the sight of maggots squirming in rotten food make you look away in disgust? The phrase 'makes my stomach turn' takes on a new meaning today as researchers at the University of Cambridge reveal that changes in the rhythm of our stomachs prompt us to look away from disgusting images.

Health - Pharmacology - 17.11.2020
Rapid point-of-care testing during and after COVID-19 - how widely should it be used?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the point-of-care testing industry was investing millions of pounds to develop rapid tests to tell us the cause of respiratory infections. The pandemic has accelerated this process. In an editorial published in the British Journal of General Practice today [17 November], researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Academic Primary Care ask if we know enough about these tests to merit their widespread use in primary care.

Health - Pharmacology - 17.11.2020
The Zayed Centre for Research celebrates first anniversary
With a vision to develop new treatments and cures for seriously ill children, the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, is celebrating its first year of work and achievements. Run jointly by UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) the purpose-built Zayed Centre for Research (ZCR) brings together pioneering research and clinical care under one roof - a world first for paediatric medicine.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.11.2020
UofG researchers report how novel diabetes drugs work to improve the prognosis for patients with heart failure
Scientists at the University of Glasgow have furthered the understanding of how novel diabetes drugs can improve prognosis for patients with heart failure. The results of the SUGAR-DM-HF trial - published in Circulation and presented to the American Heart Association - showed that the drug empagliflozin, originally a treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, was able to significantly reduce the size of abnormally large hearts, which helps explain how they reduce the risk of hospitalisation and cardiovascular death in patients with heart failure.

Pharmacology - Health - 13.11.2020
Analysis: Believing in conspiracies goes hand in hand with vaccine hesitancy
Dr Gul Deniz Salali, Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology and Medicine at UCL, discusses new research which confirms findings from before the pandemic that vaccine hesitancy often coincides with broader anti-scientific thinking. While developing an effective vaccine  probably won't  bring an immediate end to the pandemic, it's clear that things can't begin to return to normal without one.

Pharmacology - 12.11.2020
Interview: Developing a new immunotherapy to gain control of cancer
Scientists at UCL Cancer Institute have developed an experimental immunotherapy drug, which harnesses the immune system in a new way to kill cancer cells. Here lead researcher, Professor Sergio Quezada, discusses the groundbreaking discovery and its potential. "This is not the cure to cancer. I think that's very important to clarify.
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