2017 Clinical Trial Awards announced: The George Institute a double finalist

The George Institute for Global Health took a starring role at the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance’s (ACTA) Clinical Trial of the Year Awards.

Two studies conducted by The George Institute were finalists (ENCHANTED and SAVE) and TGI also took home a new award for Excellence in Trial Statistics.

The event at RPA Hospital in Sydney was attended by The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, and whole host of public health and industry bodies.

TGI’s Professor Vlado Perkovic, Laurent Billot and Xiaoying Chen attended the event hosted by ACTA, together with the NHMRC, MTPConnect and Medicines Australia.

Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director of the George Institute, Australia, said: “It is a great honour for the work of TGI to be so highly regarded by our peers. The commitment and effort that went into both of these trials was quite phenomenal and I congratulate everyone involved.

“Our focus is always about delivering research that has impact, and both of these trials are already changing clinical guidelines around the world delivering better outcomes for patients and improving the health system.

“Today really demonstrates the importance of continued investment in clinical and priority driven research.”

Associate Professor Laurent Billot, Director of the Statistics Division at the George Institute, also attended and collected the Excellence in Trial Statistics award for his team’s work on the SAVE trial. The study found the leading therapy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), does not reduce recurrent strokes and heart attacks in people with cardiovascular disease but does significantly improve their quality of life and mood.

The SAVE study, done in collaboration with Flinders University, was a landmark trial, being the only large-scale investigation purposefully designed to evaluate the effectiveness of CPAP for OSA to reduce CV events.  The study took over 10 years to complete from inception and involved over 2700 people recruited from 89 hospital centres in seven countries. The study’s results will lead to changes in clinical guideline recommendations for more restricted use of CPAP for symptom control rather than CV risk modification. 

ENCHANTED, which investigated the safety of controversial clot busting drug used to treat stroke, was also rated one of the top five clinical studies in Australia. The results of the trial involving more than 3000 patients in 100 hospitals worldwide showed a modified dosage of intravenous rtPA (or alteplase) can reduce serious bleeding in the brain and improve survival rates.

The study has had a major influence on guidelines and practice, particularly in Asia where low-dose alteplase is preferred, and a foundation for future trials of combination lytic therapy in acute ischaemic stroke.

The top honour for 2017 went to the Australia and New Zealand College of Anesthetists for its study: Aspirin and Tranexamic Acid for Coronary Artery Surgery.