MRC Unit The Gambia awarded a grant in November 2015 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, under their Grand Challenge scheme for New Interventions for Global Health Pilot Awards.
The grant will support field trials, led by Dr Dora Pereira, to test the efficacy and safety of IHAT– a novel iron compound recently awarded to the Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technology Award. The project is worth $1.7m and is valid for a period of 28 months.
Existing evidence strongly supports the contention that IHAT offers very important advantages over any other form of supplemental iron in use or under development. This trial will provide the first clinical evidence that this is indeed the case. It is anticipated that this trial will provide a safer means of combatting pervasive iron deficiency in low-income settings.
The project has already started and the trial will be conducted in children living in the Upper River Division of The Gambia. The clinical trial is planned to start in Autumn 2016.
Dr. Dora Pereira Principal Investigator for the project said “My vision is that our novel iron compound (IHAT) will significantly contribute to the goal of safely eliminating iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia in women and children living in developing countries”.