500,000 Malaysians have Hepatitis C, and may not know it – NST


The Health Ministry estimates that around 500,000 people nationwide have Hepatitis C, and may not be aware of it. (Bernama photo)

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry estimates that around 500,000 people nationwide have Hepatitis C, and may not be aware of it.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the figure is expected to go up by 2039, with more than 60,000 deaths to occur due to Hepatitis C.

“As of 2009, there were over 400,000 people living with Hepatitis C in Malaysia, including 2.5 per cent of the adult population aged between 15 and 64.

“While the number of new cases is already high, it is forecast to continue to rise steeply over the coming decades under the current levels of antiviral treatment.

“In fact, by 2039, it has been projected that there will be over 60,000 HCV-related deaths,” he added.

He said the ministry has not discounted the possibility that the number of people currently infected with Hepatitis C could be even higher, and that their victims are unaware of their condition due to low awareness levels.

“There is low level of awareness of the disease in Malaysia and because of this, screening for this disease results in missed opportunities for prevention, early diagnosis and medical care.

“To add to this, screening and confirmatory diagnosis of Hepatitis C are not widely available and remain largely centralised at tertiary care settings. This means that identifying those with the disease so they can be linked to care is a huge challenge,” he said.

In an efforts to diagnose and provide early treatment, the Health Ministry on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM), on behalf of the government and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND).

“We have about 400,000 to 500,000 people who are infected but don’t know they are infected.

“Through this collaboration, we hope to diagnose them by providing available, accessible and affordable tests. These are simple points of care for the people,” Dr Dzulkefly said.

Dr Dzulkefly said FIND and the Drugs for Neglected initiative (DNDi) will be collaborating with the ministry as well as CRM, its not-for-profit company, to overcome barriers for the diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C.

“This will be done through assessing the feasibility of using rapid diagnostic tests in decentralised primary healthcare facilities and research and development of new innovative diagnostic tests.

“The HCV screening, using a World Health Organisation (WHO) pre-qualified rapid diagnostic test, will be conducted at 25 primary healthcare facilities within a catchment area of five district-level hospitals,” he said.

This project, said Dr Dzulkefly , will enable 50,000 people to be screened and 1,200 are expected to require treatment and be assessed for recruitment into DNDi clinical trial.

Currently diagnosis and treatment for Hepatitis C have been carried out at 22 hospitals and 25 government clinics nationwide.

“The findings of previous clinical trials have also shown the potential to bring down the treatment of the infection to just under RM1,200 from the current RM387,000 using generic drugs,” he added.

On another subject, Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry is paying greater focus on the target groups, especially the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in a bid to tackle the spread of HIV in Malaysia.

Commenting on the issue of trainee doctors being bullied by their seniors, the minister said he is now actively gathering information by holding meetings at various levels, including with trainee doctors, medical officers as well as specialists to tackle the problem.

Source

Press Release: Malaysia Takes the Lead on a Public Health Approach to Hepatitis C with New Initiative to Enhance Diagnosis & Treatment

FRONT L-R: Dr. Akhmal Yusof (Chief Executive Officer of CRM) and Mr. Zachary Katz (Chief Access Officer of FIND), BACK L-R: YBhg Dato Dr. Goh Pik Pin (National Clinical Research Centre (CRC) Director), YBhg. Datuk Dr. Shahnaz Murad (Deputy Director-General of Health (Research & Technical Support)), YBhg Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham (Director-General of Health), YB Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad (Minister of Health, Malaysia), Dr. Ying-Ru Jacqueline Lo (Head of Mission and WHO Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore) and Dr. Francesco Marinucci (Head of HCV & HIV Unit, FIND). –Photo by FIND

PUTRAJAYA, 6 August 2018 – The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in the research and development of an innovative Hep C diagnostic testing strategy.

CRM is a non-profit company owned by the Ministry of Health in Malaysia, and this work underscores the importance of research and development in the government’s pioneering efforts to tackle the disease. The initiative is being conducted in continuation of a partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative(DNDi) and forms part of a larger FIND project known as Hepatitis C Elimination through Access to Diagnostics (HEAD-Start), supported by Unitaid.  Malaysia is the only high-middle-income country included in the project.

‘It is a great honour to be part of this research and development effort with FIND, that will eventually lead to more cost efficient and earlier detection of the Hepatitis C. In line with our effort to be a globally trusted organization and participate in research that matters to the Malaysian population we will continue to strive our best to deliver together with our partner FIND”said Dr. Akhmal Yusof, Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Research Malaysia

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified different types of HCV tests, screening vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations remains a challenge due to centralized health services, making it difficult to identify those with the disease who need to be linked to care and treatment. FIND will demonstrate the feasibility of using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in decentralized primary healthcare facilities and provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health in Malaysia to support the project.

“The introduction of RDTs and simpler diagnostic pathways is a critical step in scaling up hepatitis C care,”said Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND. “This MOU with CRM allows us to work closely with the Malaysian government and ensure that the evidence generated can be used to inform national policy so that more people can know their status and enter the care cascade.”

All patients screened during the study with World Health Organization pre-qualified diagnostic tests and confirmed as having active HCV (viraemia) will be linked to care. Treatment will be provided:

  • either as part of an ongoing DNDiclinical trial, which is co-sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Health and designed to assess the efficacy and safety of a new, alternative treatment regimen combining sofosbuvir with the investigational drug ravidasvir. Results from the first stage of the trial published in April 2018 show this drug combination to be safe and effective, with extremely high cure rates for patients, including hard-to-treat cases;[1]
  • or by the Malaysian national HCV programme, which, following an ambitious treatment strategy to overcome the prohibitively high cost of HCV treatment in the country, now offers free hepatitis C treatment (sofosbuvir/daclatasvir) in 21 government hospitals.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Akhmal Yusof, Chief Executive Officer of CRM  and Mr. Zachary Katz, Chief Access Officer of FIND, and witnessed by the Minister of Health, YB Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad, the Director-General of Health, YBhg Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham, the Deputy Director-General of Health (Research & Technical Support), YBhg. Datuk Dr. Shahnaz Murad, Head of Mission and WHO Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, Dr. Ying-Ru Jacqueline Lo, the Director of National Clinical Research Centre (CRC), YBhg Dato Dr. Goh Pik Pin and the Head of HCV & HIV Unit, FIND, Dr. Francesco Marinucci.

Press Conference held after the signing ceremony. –Photo by FIND

 

About Hepatitis C

HCV is one of the world’s most common infectious diseases, usually contracted through unsafe healthcare and injection drug use. Globally, more than 71 million people are chronically infected, over 80% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) – but only one in five people know they have the disease.[2]Around 400,000 people die every year, and the mortality rate is increasing, making it a global health priority: the World Health Organization (WHO) has set an ambitious target of viral hepatitis elimination by 2030.[3],[4]In Malaysia, HCV disease burden is high and predicted to rise steeply over the coming decades, leading to a projected 63,900 HCV-related deaths by 2039.[5]

 

About CRM

Established by the Malaysian Ministry of Health in 2012, CRM exists to advance global health solutions for a brighter, more hopeful future for the people by providing speedy and reliable end-to-end clinical research support for quality studies. CRM’s innate understanding of the local clinical research landscape with the international standards of operations coupled with fundamental backing of the government ministries provide us an incomparable advantage to work with partners from the nascent stages of development to materialisation of the end product, in order to deliver better treatment and high skilled job opportunities. For further information, please visit www.clinicalresearch.my

 

About FIND

FIND was established in 2003 as a global non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and delivery of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, now including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Buruli ulcer, non-malarial fever and diseases with outbreak potential, such as Ebola. FIND has partnered in the delivery of 20 new diagnostic tools and created an enabling environment for numerous others through the provision of specimen banks, reagent development and better market visibility. FIND also supports better access to new diagnostics through implementation, quality assurance and lab strengthening work. FIND has nearly 200 partners globally, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries and national disease control programmes, commercial partners, bilateral and multilateral organizations, especially WHO, and clinical trial sites. For further information, please visit www.finddx.org

 

 

Media contacts

Clinical Research Malaysia: Mr Syed Hamzah, Business Development

T: +6(03) 7960 5153 (ext. 121)

hamzah@clinicalresearch.my

 

FIND: Sarah-Jane Loveday, Head of Communications
T: +41 (0) 22 710 27 88
M: +41 (0) 79 431 62 44
media@finddx.org


[1]DNDipress release, 12 April 2018. https://www.dndi.org/2018/media-centre/press-releases/new-affordable-hepatitis-c-combination-treatment-shows-97-cure-rate/(accessed 18 July 2018)

[2]World Health Organization. Global hepatitis report 2017. www.who.int/hepatitis/publications/global-hepatitis-report2017/en/(accessed 27 June 2018)

[3]World Health Organization. Disease burden and mortality estimates, 2000–2015. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/estimates/en/index1.html(accessed 27 June 2018)

[4]World Health Organization. Combating hepatitis B and C to reach elimination by 2030, May 2016. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/206453/WHO_HIV_2016.04_eng.pdf;jsessionid=0B0881916BBDF9EB2B47D4B004DB7969?sequence=1(accessed 5 July 2018)

[5]Raihan R, et al. Euroasian J Hepato-Gastroenterol2017;7(1):65–67

FIND and DNDi team up to support Malaysian MOH efforts to simplify and decentralize hepatitis C screening & treatment

PRESS RELEASE

Initiative in Malaysia to enhance country’s public health approach to hepatitis C

  • Decentralized screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) using pre-qualified rapid diagnostic tests will be initiated in Malaysia in an effort to expand the reach of screening initiatives
  • People who screen positive and are subsequently confirmed to have HCV can be linked to direct-acting antiviral treatment as part of a DNDi clinical trial or in government hospitals
  • Work is being conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Malaysia; evidence from these coordinated interventions will be used to support policy change and scale up of HCV diagnosis and treatment in the country and beyond

Dr Sattian Kollanthavelu of Ampang Hospital, Gastroenterology & Hepatology Unit doing his patient rounds.

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) will partner to generate evidence that will support policy change and scale up of hepatitis C (HCV) diagnosis and treatment. This work, announced at the AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam and ahead of World Hepatitis Day 2018, is being conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Malaysia with a view to overcoming barriers to diagnosis and treatment. It forms part of a larger FIND project known as Hepatitis C Elimination through Access to Diagnostics (HEAD-Start), supported by Unitaid.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified different types of HCV tests, screening and confirmatory diagnosis of hepatitis C are not widely available, and remain largely centralized and siloed where they do exist. This means that identifying those with the disease so they can be linked to care is a huge challenge. FIND will demonstrate the feasibility of using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in decentralized primary healthcare facilities, and provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health in Malaysia to support the project.

“The introduction of RDTs and simpler diagnostic pathways is a critical step in scaling up hepatitis C care,” said Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND. “It will make screening widely accessible and increase the number of people who know their status and can enter the care cascade.”

All patients confirmed during the study as having active HCV (viremia) will be linked to care. Treatment will be provided:

  • either as part of an ongoing DNDi clinical trial. The DNDi clinical trial, which is co-sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Health, is designed to assess the efficacy and safety of a new, alternative treatment regimen combining sofosbuvir with the investigational drug ravidasvir. Results from the first stage of the trial published in April 2018 show the combination to be safe and effective, with extremely high cure rates for patients, including hard-to-treat cases;[1]
  • or by the Malaysian national HCV programme, which, following an ambitious treatment strategy to overcome the prohibitively high cost of treatments in the country, now offers free hepatitis C treatment (sofosbuvir/daclatasvir) in government hospitals.

Our ambition is provide a treatment that is pan-genotypic, simple, and affordable in order to facilitate a public health approach to HCV,” said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director of DNDi. “Combined with a simplified diagnostic algorithm, this could make it easier for healthcare providers to scale up treatment to much higher levels than is possible today.”

A Memorandum of Understanding is expected to be signed in August 2018 with Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM), a non-profit company owned by the Ministry of Health.

Our core business in the Ministry of Health is to provide affordable, accessible and equitable healthcare for the citizens of Malaysia,” said Dr Hisham Abdullah Director-General of Health Malaysia. “The evidence generated by both the FIND and DNDi projects will be used to update national guidelines that will cover HCV screening, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring, for an effective HCV public health approach in Malaysia.”

 

 

About hepatitis C

HCV is one of the world’s most common infectious diseases, usually contracted through unsafe healthcare and injection drug use. Globally, more than 71 million people are chronically infected, over 80% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) – but only one in five people know they have the disease.[2] Around 400,000 people die every year, and the mortality rate is increasing, making it a global health priority: the World Health Organization (WHO) has set an ambitious target of viral hepatitis elimination by 2030.[3],[4] In Malaysia, HCV disease burden is high and predicted to rise steeply over the coming decades, leading to a projected 63,900 HCV-related deaths by 2039.[5]

 

About FIND

FIND was established in 2003 as a global non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and delivery of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, now including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Buruli ulcer, non-malarial fever, and diseases with outbreak potential, such as Ebola. FIND has partnered in the delivery of 20 new diagnostic tools and created an enabling environment for numerous others through the provision of specimen banks, reagent development, and better market visibility. FIND also supports better access to new diagnostics through implementation, quality assurance, and lab strengthening work. FIND has nearly 200 partners globally, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries and national disease control programmes, commercial partners, bilateral and multilateral organizations, especially WHO, and clinical trial sites. For further information, please visit www.finddx.org

 

About DNDi

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit R&D organization working to deliver new treatments for neglected patients, in particular for sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filaria, mycetoma, paediatric HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C virus (HCV). DNDi’s ambition is to enable access to HCV treatment, through the development and registration of affordable, safe, and efficacious pan-genotypic direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), and by supporting policy change and political will to remove barriers to access to DAAs globally. www.dndi.org

 

Media contacts

FIND: Sarah-Jane Loveday, Head of Communications
T: +41 (0) 22 710 27 88
M: +41 (0) 79 431 62 44
media@finddx.org

 

DNDi: media@dndi.org

At the AIDS 2018 conference: +41 79 432 62 97

In Malaysia: + 60 12 546 8362

 

References

[1] DNDi press release, 12 April 2018. https://www.dndi.org/2018/media-centre/press-releases/new-affordable-hepatitis-c-combination-treatment-shows-97-cure-rate/ (accessed 18 July 2018)[2] World Health Organization. Global hepatitis report 2017. www.who.int/hepatitis/publications/global-hepatitis-report2017/en/ (accessed 27 June 2018)[3] World Health Organization. Disease burden and mortality estimates, 2000–2015. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/estimates/en/index1.html(accessed 27 June 2018)[4] World Health Organization. Combating hepatitis B and C to reach elimination by 2030, May 2016. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/206453/WHO_HIV_2016.04_eng.pdf;jsessionid=0B0881916BBDF9EB2B47D4B004DB7969?sequence=1 (accessed 5 July 2018)[5] Raihan R, et al. Euroasian J Hepato-Gastroenterol 2017;7(1):65–67

 

Photo credit: Bobby Tan-DNDi

Source

Where Are Clinical Trials Studies? – SIN CHEW DAILY (Translated)

Where Are Clinical Studies?
Check Online to Find Out 

“In October last year, Clinical Research Malaysia added a brand-new function to its official website http://www.clinicalresearch.my/. It is a prominent column in the lower right corner of the web page, with the tab “Find a Clinical Trial”. This new function brought good news to critically ill patients, especially those unable to afford expensive medical treatments. Patients and their families can find out which government or private hospitals provide new research or treatment options according to their medical conditions. 

Syed Hamzah -Business Development Executive, Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM)

In the website, the users can select between “Healthy Volunteer” or “Patient” and proceed to fill in their personal information to register themselves. Based on the information provided in the website, for “Healthy Volunteers”, they can choose Ampang Hospital in Selangor, three different hospitals in Penang and a hospital located in Kuching. For “Patients”, the diagnosis of illness and their location must be filled in order to search for the appropriate hospital. The participating hospitals in this clinical trial cover all parts in Malaysia, which include hospitals in major cities, as well as several large private hospitals. 

The clinical trials listed on the website covers several diseases, such as acute coronary syndrome (ACS), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), IgA renal disease, lupus nephritis, anaemia, diabetic nephropathy, heart failure, glaucoma, breast cancer, lymphoma, thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), thalassemia, leukemia, hepatitis C disease, prostate cancer, erosive esophagitis, depression, venous thromboembolism, stroke, etc. It covers almost all critical diseases that Malaysians have regardless of race, environment and gender. Unfortunately, as there is lack of publicity of this new function, not many people know about it. 

Not a “Guinea Pig”
Careful follow-up by the Medical Team 

However, not every applicant can participate in these clinical trials. Applicants must go through a series of review conducted by the Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM). Those who are interested can use this new feature in the website to submit their applications, as well as contact the major government hospitals for enquiries. 

In the past, many people lacked understanding of clinical trials. Their perceptions of clinical trials are that they are being experimented on like a guinea pig. There is a lack of understanding on newly developed drugs or treatment programs and assume it to be a high-risk procedure. In fact, patients who participated in clinical trials may not only obtain early results from the new 2 

drug treatment from the pharmaceutical company, but the results can also be followed up carefully through the Medical Team as well. Most importantly, these drugs have actually passed through layers of checks, and patients will not be treated as a “guinea pigs”. Therefore, clinical trials may be a source of hope for those with critical diseases.” 

By Syed Hamzah Business Development of CRM 

Syed Hamzah (middle) explained the new functions in the CRM website to the Sin Chew Daily Foundation Executive (right, No 3) and others

 

RM 480,000 drug costs reduced to RM1200
Recovery Rate of 97%
CRM sponsored a Hepatitis C combination drug study
By Khairul Faizi Khalid (Head of Business Development, Clinical Research Malaysia) 

Combination Usage of Generic Drugs
Malaysian-Thailand 500 people tested 

Hepatitis C virus can cause chronic liver inflammation, liver disease, and even liver cancer. Although there are drugs on the market for the treatment of hepatitis C, not many people can afford the treatment costs. A full 12-week course of treatment is around US$ 120,000 (around RM 480,000). 

Dr. Khairul Faizi Khalid – Head of Business Development, Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM)

In order to solve the challenges of increasing hepatitis C population and high medical expenses, Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) (a non-profit research and development organization) and Pharco Pharmaceuticals (Pharco) (an Egyptian pharmaceutical company), have signed a collaboration agreement to manufacture and supply a new hepatitis C treatment regimen. In partnership with the Malaysian Ministry of Health (co-sponsored by CRM), DNDi is currently running clinical trials testing a potentially pan-genotypic treatment, combining the drug ravidasir, produced by the Egyptian drug manufacturer Pharco Pharmaceuticals, with the existing hepatitis C medicine sofosbuvir. 

According to DNDi, based on the interim results from the Phase II/III STORM-C-1 trial, 97% of patients enrolled in a full 12-week course of treatment were cured with the new combination of drugs. Most importantly is that this new treatment only cost US$300 (around RM1200), compared to US$120,000 for a full 12-week course treatment in Malaysia currently. 

This trial recruited 500 people in Malaysia and Thailand within 1 year. Out of 500 people, 400 are Malaysian. Hospitals involved in this project include Hospital Selayang, Hospital Ampang, Hospital Sungai Buloh, University of Malaya Medical Centre, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan from Kuantan, and Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah from Alor Setar.

Exploring shortened treatment
Extend genotype 

Clinical trial on the new drugs has not yet ended. The next phase is to find the bioequivalent of the drug. The collection of blood samples for plasma level studies will be handled by Hospital Ampang. 

If the new drug is confirmed to have the same bioequivalent properties to the original drug in terms of safety, tolerability and efficacy, then patients will be able to receive high-quality drugs at an affordable price, which is undoubtedly good news. 

We have just concluded a meeting with DNDi and mentioned more possibilities for the efficacy of new drugs, such as shortening the course of treatment, and we found that some patients have no signs of viral infection at the eighth week of treatment. If the new drug duration can be shorten from its original 12-week course, then the patient can save on the treatment fee. 

The rate of new drug treatment depends on the patient’s own viral genotype, and most of the Malaysian patients belong to genotypes 1 and 6. Therefore, we will also explore the possibility of extending new drugs to genotypes 2 and 3 to achieve a broader coverage level. 

CRM Head of Business Development, Dr. Khairul Faizi Khalid (from left, no.3), Head of Finance and Information Technology, Mr Yau Yit Huan (from left, no.2) and Business Development Executive, Syed Hamzah (from right, no 3) visited Sin Chew Daily and was welcomed by Chief Editor of Sin Chew Daily (right, no. 4), Chief Editor of “Easily Page” and reporters

The Government issued a compulsory license
Resolve Hepatitis C Patients’ Problems 

We are proud to inform that Hepatitis C patients in Malaysia are the first recipient of this new drug treatment. Usually, new drugs are introduced to Malaysia after approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). By then, it may be too late for patients. 

In addition to developing new drugs, the government is also actively taking action to overcome high drug costs and this is done by issuing compulsory licensing. Our country’s hepatitis C population is currently as high as 500,000 people. If the government does not intervene, it is estimated that by year 2030, the number of patients will increase to 3 million. Therefore, the government issued a compulsory licensing for the sofosbuvir patent in September 2017, allowing the people to seek low-cost generic treatments for sofosbuvir in government hospitals. 

In some issues related to the public health crisis, under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, various country governments can issue the compulsory licensing, as long as the drug patent rights have not expired. The generic drugs can be introduced by the government or the commissioned pharmaceutical company, but can only be used in government hospitals. 

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned products, services and personal cases shown in the articles and advertisements are for reference only. They cannot be used as the basis of doctor consultation. 

Source: Sin Chew Daily, Health Section, 18 Jun 2018, Pg. 19

Malaysia’s Clinical Trial Sites Global Achiever!

List of Clinical Trial Sites who achieved a significant milestone globally! Clinical Research Malaysia would like to congratulate to all the study team below:

Kedah Won Dato’ Esah’s Trophy For The Best State in Research

Kedah won the Dato’ Esah’s Trophy for The Best State in Research recently at the 10th National Pharmacy R&D Conference 2018 organised by Pharmaceutical Services Programme, Ministry of Health Malaysia and Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society held at the Royale Chulan Hotel, Seremban between 9-11 July 2018.

Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all winners!

First to Recruit Patient for ELIOS Trial Globally, Congratulations Sarawak General Hospital

Congratulations Dr. Voon Pei Jye and his clinical trial team for being the first site to recruit patient for ELIOS trial globally.

Hospital Sibu Top Enroller in APAC Region for Respiratory Study

Congratulations Dr. Toh Teck Hock and his study team from Hospital Sibu, Sarawak for being the Top Enroller in APAC region for a Respiratory Study with 20% more patients recruited! We wish a continued success for this study and upcoming trials. #toprecruiter #clinicaltrials #askusaboutclinicaltrial #advancingclinicalresearch #research #respiratory #pediatrics #children #Malaysia

Hospital Selayang the TOP recruiting site for a Prostate Cancer Study

Congratulations to Dato Dr. Rohan Malik and his team from Hospital Selayang for being the top recruiting site in Asia for a Prostate Cancer Study.

From the Management & Staff of Clinical Research Malaysia.

Research Team from IMR Conferred the ‘Dr LEE Jong-Wook Memorial Prize for Public Health’ at the Seventy-First World Health Assembly

The World Health Organisation (WHO), Geneva, Switzerland today announced the award of the Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health, to the research team comprising of Dr. Nazni Wasi Ahmad, Dr Lee Han Lim, Ms Teh Chien Huey, and Ms Suhana Othman of the Medical Entomology Unit, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur and Dr Harikrishna K. Ragavan of Wound Care Unit, Kuala Lumpur Hospital. The award was presented by the President of the Seventy-first World Health Assembly (WHA) during a plenary meeting at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It is a great honour and pleasure for the biomedical researchers from the Institute for Medical Research to have received the conferment of such a superlative award for unprecedented scientific achievement in Malaysia.

The Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health was established in 2008 and aims at rewarding work that has extended far beyond the call of normal duties and to those who have made an outstanding and significant contribution to public health. It is among the prestigious awards and foundations established under the framework of the WHO. Overall, twelve candidatures were received by the Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize Selection Panel in 2018.


The previous institutional or individual winners for the Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health from 2009 to 2017 were Infectious Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Center (Georgia); Action for Aids (AfA) (Singapore); Clodomiro Picado Institute (Costa Rica); Pacific Leprosy Foundation (based in New Zealand); Dr An Dong (China) and Diabetes Society of Maldives; Thalassaemia International Federation (Cyprus); Dr Alireza Mesdaghinia, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, (Tehran); and Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade (Cuba).

From among the 12 nominations in 2018, the Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health is honourably conferred to lead researcher Dr Nazni Wasi Ahmad, from the Institute for Medical Research, Malaysia, for her exemplary contributions in Maggot Debridement Therapy (MDT). The MDT is a type of biotherapy involving the intentional application of live, sterile fly larvae or maggots into the non-healing wound of a human or animal to debride the necrotic wound, reduce bacterial contamination of the wound and stimulate healing. It is a safe, effective and affordable alternative treatment that is available at any time and in any healthcare setting, mainly primary healthcare facilities, to treat diabetic foot ulcers.

  • MDT: 48 hours later maggots grew 10 times bigger in size

  • MDT: Result of post maggot debridement therapy after 48 hours

Since 2003, the research team has developed and patented methods of sterilising the maggots of a local strain of the blow fly Lucilia cuprina and successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of using these sterile maggots to debride intractable diabetic and other wounds, without any untoward and undesirable side effects. The rate of limb amputation in these patients was also substantially reduced. The research received support through the research grant from the Intensification of Research in Priority Areas (IRPA) programme (2002-2004) and the Major Research Grant from the Ministry of Health (MRG-MOH) from 2006 to 2008. Subsequently, the Institute for Medical Research envisioned the commercialisation potential of MDT and hence further secured a grant from the Malaysian Technology Development Cooperation (MTDC) for small-scale deployment of MDT to patients in the hospitals.

Book on Maggot Debridement Therapy: The Malaysian Experience

Today, MDT is currently practised in health clinics in most districts in Malaysia, including those hard-to-reach areas in Sabah and Sarawak thus making the MDT accessible and affordable to the people, especially for the socially and geographically disadvantaged population groups. These activities are in line with two of the critical elements of achieving the ultimate goal of primary healthcare by the WHO, namely, reducing exclusion and social disparities in health and organising health services around people’s needs and expectations.

Source