Latest News

April 2022

Big pharma sponsors of clinical trials are putting hundreds of studies on hold in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as the conflict continues:


The virtual clinical trials market is worth $8bn and growing at a rate of more than 10% annually as CROs rush to add decentralized capabilities, according to Medi-Tech Insights:


AstraZeneca has received UK regulatory approval for its long-acting COVID-19 antibody treatment Evusheld. The British-Swedish drugmaker plans even greater drug development success at its new £1bn research lab in Cambridge which, with 16 labs and 2,200 scientists, will become the biggest science lab in Britain along with the Francis Crick Institute in London when fully occupied:


After global clinical trials, an anti-inflammatory therapy identified using artificial intelligence has been shown to reduce deaths in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 by 13%. Baricitinib is an oral JAK inhibitor owned by Eli Lilly and approved for rheumatoid arthritis:


The clinical research industry has set recruitment of diverse patient populations in its sights, yet trial teams still often struggle to hit such targets. Katherine Vandebelt, global head of clinical innovation with Oracle Health Sciences, speaks about the obstacles on the path and how they might be overcome:


A report from Research and Markets looks at The “Clinical Trials Software Market: Distribution by Type of Deployment, Type of Delivery, Features of software and Geographical Regions, Industry Trends and Global Forecasts, 2022-2035”. The software enables trial participants to take part from home rather than traveling to a study location:


An interview with Dr. Paresh Malhotra, Consultant Neurologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Divisional Director, Northwest London NIHR Clinical Research Network, about what the future holds for patient centricity within clinical trials and the benefits of this approach:


The Starlab Group, a European supplier of laboratory products with a UK division, has conducted a survey of more than 200 laboratory employees from the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy and France to assess the challenges they face. The results can be accessed from this article:


Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in Beijing is expected to start clinical trials for two small molecule COVID-19 drugs this year as Omicron once again strikes Chinese cities:


Fujifilm Toyama Chemical Co. has announced a pause in enrolment, as of the end of March, in the Phase III clinical trial in Japan of its anti-influenza drug Avigan Tablet (favipiravir), targeting patients infected with COVID-19 because of the recent spread of the Omicron variant that has lower symptom severity rates:


The UK’s private testing laboratory network must be maintained as COVID-19 tests reduce, says Cambridge Clinical Laboratories CEO, Dr Anthony Cooke, speaking after being announced as chair of the scientific advisory board for The Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation:


Health officials are closely monitoring a new recombinant (hybrid) coronavirus variant - Deltacron- carrying genes from both the delta and omicron variants, but experts believe it is “probably not going to elevate to a variant of concern level.”


Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, ageing, and severe COVID-19 have all been linked to damage from inflammation. Now scientists are working to find new drugs that may revolutionize treatments for dozens of diseases:


Nagasaki University and Kirin Holdings Co. in Japan have started a clinical study to investigate the effect of using Lactococcus lactis strain Plasma (LC-Plasma), which has the function of enhancing the immune response, to relieve COVID-19 symptoms:


Microbiotica, a Cambridge-based healthtech company that has created an artificial intelligence platform to develop personalised medicines, has secured £50mn in a Series B funding round. It will conduct clinical trials later this year for two of its microbiome-based therapeutics in immuno-oncology and ulcerative colitis:


A recent non-peer-reviewed study explored neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant by sub-unit vaccine boosters and concluded that an additional booster vaccination using Omicron-RBD proteins could improve the human humoral immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 WT and emerging VOCs:


Clinical trials are underway in the USA to understand the efficacy of treating the root cause of Alzheimer’s before symptoms start. The drugs under scrutiny are all antibodies that have been developed to target and clear amyloid-β proteins in the brain:


Actigen, based in St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge, is leading clinical trials for a pioneering new therapy, GNR-055, that could transform the treatment of MPS II (Hunter syndrome), a serious rare disease affecting one in 100,000–170,000 births. Actigen’s clinical trial work forms part of a global strategic partnership with international pharmaceutical company Generium who manufactures one of the COVID-19 vaccines:



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