Collaborations - International


NIHI's research programmes focus on investigating the causes, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and other major health problems.

The Clinical Trials Research Unit - International Collaborations

Established in 1989, NIHI has co-ordinated clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people in Australasia, Asia and Europe. Collaboration with other research groups both nationally and internationally is central to NIHI's success. A selection of international collaborations including current and completed research projects is summarised below.

APCSC (Asia Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration)

A collaborative overview of the causes of cardiovascular disease in Asia Pacific populations (500,000 participants). The project is a collaboration between the principal investigators of the participating studies and is overseen by an international executive committee. The George Institute for International Health, Sydney and Investigators from 45 Cohorts

FIA (Familial intracranial aneurysm) study

An international (United States, Canada and Australasia) multicentre collaborative study identifying the gene or gene's associated with formation and rupture of intracranial aneurysm in families with multiple affected family. The NIHI is responsible for the coordination of the Australasian region. The University of Cincinnati

Global Burden of Disease Comparative Risk Assessment

An international collaborative study using a variety of different data sources and methodologies to estimate the burden of disease and injury attributable to different risk factors. Co-ordination of estimates of disease and injury burden due to selected risk factors from Global Burden of Disease Study 2000. World Health Organization and other international expert groups.


Validation of GPS technology as a measure of physical activity. Overall co-ordination of the project, data management and statistical analyses. NZ participants only. HIGH Harvard Initiative for Global Health, Harvard University

HYVET (Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial)

HYVET is an international randomised controlled trial designed to establish the balance of benefits and risks of anti-hypertensive therapy in people aged 80 years or more. The NIHI is responsible for the co-ordination of the study in New Zealand. The Imperial College of London

NEWS (NicoNovum evaluation of withdrawal relief) study

A single blind, randomised, cross-over trial of the effects of three novel nicotine replacement therapies NicoNovum pouch, mouth spray and lozenge on the relief of tobacco withdrawal symptoms. The NIHI is responsible for overall co-ordination of the project, data management and statistical analyses. NZ participants only. Queen Mary University of London

NZ Blood Donors Health Study

Cohort study of the determinants of chronic disease and acute injury among blood donors. (25,000 participants)
Auckland Regional Blood Centre
Department of Community Health, The University of Auckland
The George Institute for International Health, Sydney

ONTARGET and TRANSCEND Trials Programme

ONTARGET: Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination with Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial. ONTARGET trial is a large, simple international, randomized, double blind trial comparing the effects of an angiotensin II receptor antagonist telmisartan and an ACE-inhibitor ramipril and their combination on outcomes in patients at high risk for cardiovascular events.

An international trial involving 40 countries and 25,620 randomised study participants. The NIHI is responsible for the regional co-ordination of Asia-Pacific Region and for the co-ordination of the Cardiac MRI Substudy. The studies are centrally co-ordinated from the Population Health Research Unit of McMaster University .
Boehringer-Ingelheim: Australia, PR China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co.KG , Germany. Boehringer-Ingelheim Singapore Pte Ltd
Cardiac MRI Research Group, The University of Auckland (Core lab for MRI substudy)
Linda Richardson Ltd, Clinical Trial Management, England
Peter Sleight (Study Co Chair), Professor of Medicine, Oxford University, England
Koon Teo (Project Director), Professor of Medicine, McMaster University
Salim Yusuf (Principal Investigator and Study Chair), Professor of Medicine, Director, Population Health Institute, McMaster University, Canada


TRANSCEND: Telmisartan Randomised AAged Care / aged-care-ssessment Study in Ace Intolerant Subjects with Cardiovascular Disease Parallel trial. TRANSCEND is a parallel trial using similar methodology, comparing the effects of telmisartan with placebo on patients of ACE-1. 5926 randomised study participants.

PACIFIC pilot study

Randomised trial to estimate the effects of blood pressure lowering with omapatrilat and folic acid in patients with coronary heart disease. (700 Participants). The George Institute for International Health, Sydney.

PILL (Programme to Improve Life and Longevity) Pilot

Randomised, placebo-controlled trial n=400 of the polypill in individuals at raised risk of cardiovascular disease. The pilot trial will be undertaken by an international research network in Australia, Brazil, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the US and the UK. The study was designed in collaboration with the international investigators. NIHI staff are involved in the overall co-ordination of the project in their role as the International Coordinating Centre (ICC). The NIHI is also responsible for local study management for New Zealand, data management and the main analyses.

Collaborators include: Rod Jackson, Section of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Auckland, Otavio Berwanger, Clinical Trials Centre, Hospital do Coracao, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Richard Grimm, Berman Center for Outcomes and Clinical Research, University of Minnesota; Jim Neaton, Division of Biostatistics , University of Minnesota, USA; Bruce Neal and Anushka Patel, The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia; Neil Poulter and Simon Thom,  Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; Krishnam Raju, CARE Hospital, Hyderabad; and Srinath Reddy, All India Institute for Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Randomised trial of blood pressure lowering in patients with cerebrovascular disease. (6100 Participants)
The George Institute for International Health , Sydney; Cardiovascular Institute and Fu Wai Hospital in Beijing; Clinical Trials Branch of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda; Maryland Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Gardiner Institute, University of Glasgow ; Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne ; Departments of Geriatrics and of Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital; Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry London ; National Cardiovascular Centre, Osaka; Ospedale San Gerardo, The University of Milan; Shanghai Institute, Shanghai.

PROGRESS dementia substudy

PROGRESS substudy to assess the effects of blood pressure lowering on cognitive decline. (6100 Participants).
INSERM, Paris. The George Institute for International Health, Sydney

Text2Stop UK pilot study

This is a UK pilot study of the NIHI’s mobile phone text message-based smoking cessation intervention. CTRU developed the computer software. UK participants only. London School of Tropical Medicine, UK

WHO-ISH BP Lowering Treatment Trialists Collaboration

Prospective overview of randomised trials of blood pressure lowering. (200,000+ participants).
The George Institute for International Health, Sydney


Amazonas State University (UEA)

NIHI and UEA have signed an Memorandum of Understanding to undertake cooperation in addressing challenges of access to healthcare by smart use of technology, including telehealth, mHealth and EHRs – mainly in the primary care area. We will leverage New Zealand’s excellent profile in eHealth and lessons learned in supporting the development of a regional health IT strategy in the Amazon region and also provide technical expertise on architecture/standards (in particular openEHR). The collaboration is expected to occur by way of: 

a)      Exchange of students and/or interns

b)      Exchange of faculty and/or staff

c)      Joint research activities and publications

d)     Participation in seminars and academic meetings

e)      Exchange of academic materials and other information

f)       Special short-term academic programs and internships