Given the vividness of anecdotal accounts, the research details in a story like this must be a dominant and detailed part of the story.
How many mice and how much did they lose compared to controls? These key questions aren’t addressed. Not is there a caution that mice studies are rarely replicated in human trials.
The release claims the work is the “most exciting breakthrough in leprosy treatment” but it’s an announcement of a phase 1 study that hasn’t even been conducted yet.
That said, we think the story would have been stronger had it been more clear on the industry connections behind the study, and if it had discussed availability of the vaccine–especially if a new outbreak occurs.
Changes in measurement of surrogate markers for a disease are not the same as clinical improvements in patients.
Based on research, to what degree do these various screening methods save lives? The story doesn’t say.
Some numerical context on the increased side effects of oral morphine would have made the release much stronger.
We liked the cautious tone of this news release but looked in vain for any numbers from the study.