Publications

Three key barriers to the effective translation of bioscience breakthroughs into patient benefit

In April 2012, speaking from Japan, a very symbolic location, the UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts announced the opening of a £180 million Biomedical Catalyst scheme to provide grant funding for innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and academics to develop solutions to healthcare challenges. Prime Read more…

By Roger, ago
Selected writings

HIV Prevention: towards the medicalisation of sex?

2010 will be a year to remember for the field of HIV prevention. After decades of interventions with limited results (with the exception of circumcision and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission), two clinical studies are raising the hope that the HIV epidemic can be tamed.

In July, the CAPRISA team (based in South Africa) reported that a vaginal gel containing the anti HIV drug tenofovir could reduce the risk of HIV infection by 39%. This was the first proof of concept that a microbicide could potentially reduce the risk of HIV infection whilst offering women an HIV prevention tool that they could control.

In November of the same year, the iPrEx study conducted on a population at high-risk of infection showed that taking the anti HIV Drug Truvada reduced the risk of contracting the virus by an average of 44 percent.

Both studies are hailed as a milestone and landmark in the history of HIV prevention and expectations are high that HIV prevention will finally mean more than the ABC of ‘Abstinence, condom and faithfulness’. But despite the hope, neither approach will immediately translate into marketable products as there are a number of questions that needs answering before microbicide and PrEP are available to the public. (more…)

By Roger, ago
Selected writings

A funding struggle for an HIV prevention in women’s hands

Attendees at the 18th International AIDS conference held in Vienna in July 2010 felt a tremor of hope when Prof. Salim Abdool Karim received a standing ovation following the announcement that a vaginal gel containing the anti-HIV drug tenofovir could reduce the risk of HIV infection by 39%. The groundbreaking results came out of the CAPRISA clinical trial conducted amongst 900 women in rural Vulindela district (KwaZulu-Natal) and urban Durban, South Africa. Euphoria followed in the audience, online and later in the printed media. After 30 years of limited success, the field of HIV prevention could potentially add a new powerful tool to circumcision, condoms, and the prevention of mother to child transmission. Most remarkably, that tool is in women’s hands and the story could unfold with even more good news if it weren't for a small setback: funding the next clinical studies. (more…)

By Roger, ago
Selected writings

A Sustainable Globalisation?

washington vs Geneva ConsensusGlobalisation has been the buzzword of the roaring nineties and with the fall of the Berlin’s wall, the end of the cold war and the victory of capitalism over socialism it has opened a new era in human history. Rightly or not, globalisation has become synonymous with market economy, capitalism and development. Much discussions, books and movies have placed it at the centre of the debate about the future of development with a “New Deal” or a “New Barbarism” as two possible scenarios. As the Washington Consensus is being challenged by the Geneva Consensus, the possibility of a sustainable globalisation, conducive to social justice, human security and environmental protection, being an unrealisable goal is a question of great contemporary interest. To address this question we will examine how globalisation affects social justice, human security and the environment. We will then introduce different views and responses to the globalisation process, which when integrated altogether will provide a framework to answer the question of realizing a sustainable globalisation. (more…)

By Roger, ago