Pharmacology Scientific Group
Achieving adequate antimalarial drug concentrations in the blood, known as pharmacokinetics, is essential for treating malaria. Our Pharmacology Group is working to provide evidence to improve dosing regimens in patient populations, particularly for vulnerable groups such as small children and pregnant women..
Goals of the group
- Define drug resistance more accurately by differentiating inadequate drug exposure from true resistance
- Provide a better understanding of how patients, dosing and other disease factorsmay alter antimalarial exposure and compromise antimalarial efficacy
- Inform optimal antimalarial dosing in key target populations, such as young children and pregnant women, by adequately defining therapeutic drug concentrations
- Provide data standardisation and analysis services for researchers contributing pharmacokinetic data. This includes automated data upload, transformation and analysis documented in the Pharmacology Data Management & Statistical Analysis Plan
- Coordinate pooled analyses of retrospective pharmacokinetic data uncovering sub-population effects or other drivers of inadequate drug exposure through collaborative Study Groups
- Provide data to inform the development of malaria treatment guidelines, including input into the WHO Malaria Chemotherapy Technical Expert Group
Encouraging quality-assured data collection
- WWARN External Quality Assurance Programme: laboratories participating in Pharmacology proficiency testing test blinded QC samples three times a year, receiving free support and advice to enhance analytical performance
- Malaria Drug Reference Material Scheme: provides quality-assured drugs and metabolites to minimise bias and maximise inter-laboratory data comparability
- Procedures: step-by-step methods for conducting data management.
- In addition, WWARN provided technical support to a WHO informal consultation resulting in the consensus report: Methods for assessing exposure to antimalarial drugs in clinical field trials.
Filling the research gaps
- The Pharmacology Publication Database: a comprehensive compilation of all antimalarial pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) studies conducted and published since 1934
For more information on submitting pharmacokinetic data to the WWARN Data Centre, getting involved with a Study Group, or proposing a new Study Group, please contact contact Lesley Workman on pharmacology [at] wwarn [dot] org