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Professor Duncan Richards



Duncan Richards is Climax Professor of Clinical Therapeutics. He is Director of the Oxford Clinical Trial Research Unit, a UKCRC registered clinical trials unit with a broad portfolio across musculoskeletal sciences, oncology, surgical trials, and experimental medicine. Duncan also directs the NIHR Oxford Clinical Research Facility, a newly refurbished 13 bedded facility providing capability across the medical sciences division.

His research interest is the demonstration of clinical proof of concept of novel therapeutics through the application of experimental medicine techniques, especially human challenge studies.

Prior to taking up this role, Duncan spent nearly 20 years working in Pharmaceutical R&D in a number of clinical development roles. Latterly, Duncan was head of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine for GSK Research and Director of GSK’s phase 1 and experimental medicine unit in Cambridge (CUC).

Externally, Duncan has been a core member of the UK COVID-19 Therapeutics Advisory Panel (UK-CTAP).


My over-arching research interest is in translational clinical research

Within this there are 3 main themes:

Mechanistic understanding and interrogation of clinical potential of novel therapeutics
Rational drug combinations to enhance therapeutic efficacy
Development of human challenge models to interrogate mechanisms of drug action



Raymond G Hill and Duncan Richards [Eds]. Drug Discovery and Development. 3rd Edition, Elsevier 2021 345 pages.

Journal publications

Drennan PG, Karponis D, Richards D, Coles M, Fullerton JN. In vivo human keyhole limpet hemocyanin challenge in early phase drug development: A systematic review. Clin Transl Sci. 2023;16(3):357-382.

Butler CC, Hobbs FDR, Gbinigie OA, Rahman NM, Hayward G, Richards DB, Dorward J, Lowe DM, Standing JF, Breuer J, Khoo S, Petrou S, Hood K, Nguyen-Van-Tam JS, Patel MG, Saville BR, Marion J, Ogburn E, Allen J, Rutter H, Francis N, Thomas NPB, Evans P, Dobson M, Madden TA, Holmes J, Harris V, Png ME, Lown M, van Hecke O, Detry MA, Saunders CT, Fitzgerald M, Berry NS, Mwandigha L, Galal U, Mort S, Jani BD, Hart ND, Ahmed H, Butler D, McKenna M, Chalk J, Lavallee L, Hadley E, Cureton L, Benysek M, Andersson M, Coates M, Barrett S, Bateman C, Davies JC, Raymundo-Wood I, Ustianowski A, Carson-Stevens A, Yu LM, Little P; PANORAMIC Trial Collaborative Group. Molnupiravir plus usual care versus usual care alone as early treatment for adults with COVID-19 at increased risk of adverse outcomes (PANORAMIC): an open-label, platform-adaptive randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2023 Jan 28;401(10373):

Robinson PC, Liew DFL, Tanner HL, Grainger JR, Dwek RA, Reisler RB, Steinman L, Feldmann M, Ho LP, Hussell T, Moss P, Richards D, Zitzmann N. COVID-19 therapeutics: Challenges and directions for the future. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Apr 12;119(15):e2119893119.

Jienchi Dorward, Ly-Mee Yu, Gail Hayward, Benjamin R Saville, Oghenekome Gbinigie, Oliver Van Hecke, Emma Ogburn, Philip H Evans, Nicholas P Thomas, Mahendra G Patel, Duncan Richards, Nicholas Berry, Michelle A Detry, Christina Saunders, Mark Fitzgerald, Victoria Harris, Milensu Shanyinde, Simon de Lusignan, Monique I Andersson, Christopher C Butler, Richard Hobbs, PRINCIPLE Trial Collaborative Group. Colchicine for COVID-19 in the community (PRINCIPLE): a randomised, controlled, adaptive platform trial. Br J Gen Pract. 2022 Jun 30;72(720):e446-e455.

Fisher BA, Veenith T, Slade D, Gaskell C, Rowland M, Whitehouse T, Scriven J, Parekh D, Balasubramaniam MS, Cooke G, Morley N, Gabriel Z, Wise MP, Porter J, McShane H, Ho LP, Newsome PN, Rowe A, Sharpe R, Thickett DR, Bion J, Gates S, Richards D, Kearns P; CATALYST investigators. Namilumab or infliximab compared with standard of care in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (CATALYST): a randomised, multicentre, multi-arm, multistage, open-label, adaptive, phase 2, proof-of-concept trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2021:S2213-2600(21)00460-4.

Yu LM, Bafadhel M, Dorward J, Hayward G, Saville BR, Gbinigie O, Van Hecke O, Ogburn E, Evans PH, Thomas NPB, Patel MG, Richards D, Berry N, Detry MA, Saunders C, Fitzgerald M, Harris V, Shanyinde M, de Lusignan S, Andersson MI, Barnes PJ, Russell REK, Nicolau DV Jr, Ramakrishnan S, Hobbs FDR, Butler CC; PRINCIPLE Trial Collaborative Group. Inhaled budesonide for COVID-19 in people at high risk of complications in the community in the UK (PRINCIPLE): a randomised, controlled, open-label, adaptive platform trial. Lancet. 2021;398(10303):843-855.

Hinks TSC, Cureton L, Knight R, Wang A, Cane JL, Barber VS, Black J, Dutton SJ, Melhorn J, Jabeen M, Moss P, Garlapati R, Baron T, Johnson G, Cantle F, Clarke D, Elkhodair S, Underwood J, Lasserson D, Pavord ID, Morgan S, Richards D. Azithromycin versus standard care in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 (ATOMIC2): an open-label, randomised trial. Lancet Respir Med. 2021:S2213-2600(21)00263-0.

Richards D, Bamford M, Liefaard L, Haque N, Lewis G, Storey J, Fernando D, Kumar S, Thompson D, Holmes DS. Identification, preclinical profile, and clinical proof of concept of an orally bioavailable pro-drug of miridesap. Br J Pharmacol. 2020;177(8):1853-1864.

Feldmann M, Maini RN, Woody JN, Holgate ST, Winter G, Rowland M, Richards D, Hussell T. Trials of anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy for COVID-19 are urgently needed. Lancet. 2020;395(10234):1407-1409.

Richards DB, Cookson LM, Barton SV, Liefaard L, Lane T, Hutt DF, Ritter JM, Fontana M, Moon JC, Gillmore JD, Wechalekar A, Hawkins PN, Pepys MB. Repeat doses of antibody to serum amyloid P component clear amyloid deposits in patients with systemic amyloidosis. Sci Transl Med. 2018;10(422).

Richards DB, Cookson LM, Berges AC, Barton SV, Lane T, Ritter JM, Fontana M, Moon JC, Pinzani M, Gillmore JD, Hawkins PN, Pepys MB. Therapeutic Clearance of Amyloid by Antibodies to Serum Amyloid P Component. N Engl J Med. 2015 17;373(12):1106-14.

Hegade VS, Kendrick SF, Dobbins RL, Miller SR, Thompson D, Richards D, Storey J, Dukes GE, Corrigan M, Oude Elferink RP, Beuers U, Hirschfield GM, Jones DE. Effect of ileal bile acid transporter inhibitor GSK2330672 on pruritus in primary biliary cholangitis:a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover, phase 2a study. Lancet. 2017;389(10074):1114-1123

Ziauddeen H, Chamberlain SR, Nathan PJ, Koch A, Maltby K, Bush M, Tao WX, Napolitano A, Skeggs AL, Brooke AC, Cheke L, Clayton NS, Sadaf Farooqi I, O'Rahilly S, Waterworth D, Song K, Hosking L, Richards DB, Fletcher PC, Bullmore ET. Effects of the mu-opioid receptor antagonist GSK1521498 on hedonic and consummatory eating behaviour: a proof of mechanism study in binge-eating obese subjects. Mol Psychiatry. 2013;18(12):1287-93.

Singh D, Richards D, Knowles RG, Schwartz S, Woodcock A, Langley S, O'Connor BJ. Selective inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibition has no effect on allergen challenge in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007;176 (10):988-93

Richards D, Coleman J, Reynolds D and Aronson JK, The Oxford Handbook of Practical Drug Therapy Oxford University Press. Second Edition Published 2011 700pp. This book brings together, for the first time, basic pharmacology principles and knowledge of drug action with thorough practical advice on prescribing. It offers a novel approach to the assessment of adverse effects of drugs and to monitoring therapy. First edition translated into Chinese 2009


  • Climax Professor of Clinical Therapeutics
  • Director of the Oxford Clinical Trial Research Unit


  • Clinical Therapeutics