This week is the annual World Health Organisation (WHO) World Antimicrobial Awareness Week.
Since the discovery of Penicillin in 1928, clinical trials have allowed for more and more antibiotics to be safely tested and brought to the public, saving millions of lives. Recently, because of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines have become ineffective, resulting in infections becoming increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
The main causes of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) include the misuse and overuse of antibiotics; lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for both humans and animals; poor infection and disease prevention and control in health-care facilities and farms.
“The clinical pipeline of new antimicrobials is dry. In 2019, the WHO identified 32 antibiotics in clinical development that address the WHO list of priority pathogens, of which only six were classified as innovative.” – The WHO
AMR is a complex problem that requires a collaborative approach. One aspect includes greater innovation and investment in the research and development of new antimicrobial medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools.
We took the chance to catch up with our Clinical Lead and Principal Investigator, Dr Louise Brown, to talk about how Intelligent Clinical helps to prevent antimicrobial resistance at our Glasgow Bearsden facility and how anyone can help fight back against AMR.
What is your role at Intelligent Clinical?
As Principal Investigator at Intelligent Clinical, I lead and support the clinical research team in the conduction of pharmaceutical industry sponsored clinical trials. I am responsible for recruiting volunteers to participate in trials, monitoring their health, and recording and reporting data to the trial Sponsor. I ensure that all research at the site is performed in a safe manner and in accordance with trial protocols and recognised industry standards.
At Intelligent Clinical how do we keep the facility clean and microbe free?
As we are BSI certified, we have a quality management system in place with strict operating procedures that ensures all of our equipment and every part of the facility is kept clean and meets required standards. We are often praised by our clients for how clean and organised our facility is kept.
How important are Clinical Trials in the discovery of new treatments?
Clinical Trials are extremely important in the discovery of new antibiotics and treatments, including those that are effective against highly resistant bacteria. Many people don’t know what taking part in a clinical trial involves. It can be as simple as donating a few swabs from your mouth, a blood sample, completing a survey or taking a new research medication. The participation of volunteers in research is vital for the development of new tests, treatments, and cures for various medical conditions.
Can anyone take part in clinical trials?
All clinical trials have strict rules which determine who can and cannot take part in a research study. The criteria are based on many factors such as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous medical history, current medication use, possibly some test results, and availability to take part. Before volunteers can participate in a research study, their suitability will be assessed against these rules. Having specific eligibility criteria for a trial is necessary to allow researchers to study a certain group of people the drug is designed for.