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[Perspectives] The social history of ISIS-2: trial and tribulation

Having secured funding from the German pharmaceutical company, Behringwerke, the Oxford team were ready to embark upon the experiment that would lead to the megatrial breakthrough. To obtain an accurate result in an epidemiological study, an enormous amount of care has to be taken in the planning, execution, and publication of the experiment. In particular, there is no escape from the axiom that every new treatment of a disease must be assessed on patients who have that disease, and accordingly, while ISIS-1 was running, the ISIS team at Oxford University’s Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) started an ISIS-2 pilot study, which showed that aspirin and streptokinase could be used safely together.