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South Asia Forum 2023

South Asia Forum (SAF), a biennial scientific congress organized jointly by University of Kelaniya and RemediumOne, brings together eminent global clinical researchers, regulators, and industry leaders from both public and private sectors, to explore innovative collaboration models and partnerships for building new frameworks to increase their contribution to society and science. Hosted under the Chatham House Rule, the third SAF, which took place on the 7th and 8th of December, addressed two of the biggest global health challenges: high blood pressure and dengue. The two-day forum focused on the pivotal research carried out in these two therapeutic areas by the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) of the University and its affiliated clinical research organization RemediumOne in collaboration with international centres of excellence to develop effective and scalable interventions while accelerating the availability of promising solutions to our patients.

Chaired by Prof Asita de Silva, Director of CTU, the forum drew a diverse and distinguished audience, including faculty members, delegates from the US-FDA, local and regional regulators, clinicians, academics, delegates from foreign missions in Sri Lanka, and research collaborators from industry and multilateral organizations. Prof. Nilanthi de Silva, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya, graced the forum as the chief guest. The Vice-Chancellor commended the ongoing partnership between University and RemediumOne and highlighted its positive impact in terms of designing, conducting and disseminating high quality research that has helped the University move up in international rankings. In particular, she commended the research partnership for establishing global collaborations and enhancing Sri Lanka’s image as an excellent destination for clinical research.

Hypertension session

The session on hypertension highlighted the serious global challenge of uncontrolled blood pressure and its impact on mortality and morbidity. Over the last 7 to 8 years CTU & RemediumOne have done a considerable amount of work (TRIUMPH, TRIDENT, GMRxc2-ACT/PCT studies), primarily in collaboration with the George Institute for Global Health, to develop a triple drug combination in a single pill aimed at improving overall control levels to more than 80%. This session also explored strategies for implementing a polypill programme in South Asia, focusing on integrated, technology-enabled, patient-centered, high-impact, and equitable health system interventions.


Prof. Anthony Rodgers
Professor of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney Chair of Clinical Epidemiology Imperial College, London
Dr. Jose Maria Castellano Vazquez
Director Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research Head, Cardiovascular Health Program Hospital Universitario Montepríncipe
Prof. Andrew Moran
Chief Global Hypertension Control Resolve to Save Lives Professor of Medicine Columbia University
Dengue session

The need to develop an effective and safe vaccine to prevent dengue, discover antivirals for its treatment and methods to improve vector control were the focus areas during this session. Recent advances in this area including the use of human challenge models to accelerate the development of therapies and vaccines against dengue as well as reducing their cost of development were presented and discussed. A large ongoing community-based randomized intervention to assess the efficacy of a repellant for vector control was also highlighted during this session.


Dr. Stephen S. Whitehead
Senior Scientist Arbovirus Vaccine Research National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
Prof. Vasudevan Subhash
Emerging Infectious Diseases Program J&J satellite Centre for Global Health Discovery Duke-NUS Medical School
Prof. Aravinda de Silva
Professor of Microbiology and Epidemiology Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Prof. Neelika Malavige
Professor of Immunology and Molecular Medicine University of Sri Jayewardenepura Head of Dengue Global Program and Scientific Affairs

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  • Last modified on 20 May 2024.