Track topics on Twitter Track topics that are important to you
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) this week hosted a productive virtual summit intended to foster collaboration among key government agencies and biopharmaceutical innovators with one goal: eradicating COVID-19. The two-day virtual event helped companies working on treatments, diagnostics and vaccines come together to discuss challenges and opportunities with government officials and other stakeholders.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200326005619/en/
(Photo: Business Wire)
Senior administration officials coordinating the nation’s COVID-19 response joined the event, including White House Response Coordinator, Ambassador Deborah Birx, and Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The goal is to “minimize redundancies and maximize cooperation and collaboration,” noted BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “From the beginning of this crisis it was clear, “ Greenwood explained, “BIO is the organization that’s best constituted and positioned to organize and connect the biopharmaceutical industry so that we can accelerate the research and development and coordinate that development in response to this crisis.”
As an international trade association representing more than 700 biotechnology companies, BIO is playing a unique role in organizing and coordinating the activities of many of its companies. According to a survey, more than 45 member companies are working to address coronavirus and more than 20 have products in various stages of development.
Dr. George Scangos, CEO of Vir Therapeutics, helped lead the event. He was appointed by BIO’s chairman of the board, Dr. Jeremy Levin, to oversee the organization’s efforts to foster collaboration across the biopharmaceutical industry.
Describing the current pandemic as a “time of national, global uncertainty,” Dr. Scangos highlighted “the incredible” doctors, nurses and other medical professionals “on the frontlines” treating the sick and preventing the spread of the virus.
He also noted that many biotechnology companies—many with tight budgets and without any commercial products—are “offering to do what they can to contribute their technologies, their compounds, whatever it is they have” to tackle the virus.
During her remarks to more than 40 biotech leaders assembled, Ambassador Birx spoke about the need to advance diagnostics to the point of care. Meanwhile, Dr. Kadlec called for a “whole of nation” approach to overcome this epidemic.
“I think, based on the work you are going to do and your ability to collaborate with one another, positions us not only for the moment, but for the next six months, the next year, and the next 18 months,” said Ambassador Birx. “We are really thrilled about the work you are doing.”
Company leaders repeatedly expressed the need for speed of action on the part of government agencies to help accelerate the development of new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. Also, as the discussions over two days unfolded, a number of key areas of concern emerged:
For Dr. Scangos, Greenwood, and others within BIO, the virtual summit was one step in a broader effort to combat the virus. The organization will now form task forces to act upon what was learned, continue the dialogue and collaboration, and help inform the policy debate as the pandemic continues to evolve.
“Through the collaboration this virtual summit has helped foster,” said Greenwood, “I’m confident we will eradicate this deadly pandemic and be better prepared for the next one.”
To watch the opening plenary session of the virtual summit, click here.
To learn more about how the industry is responding to COVID-19, click here.
To see Jim Greenwood’s comments following the summit, click here.
Andrew Segerman | ASegerman@bio.orgNEXT ARTICLE
BioPortfolio - life science, medical devices and pharmaceutical conference
BioPortfolio is a leading news, information and knowledge resource covering the global life science industries impacted on by biotechnology. The site aims to provide the lay person, the researcher and the management executive with a single location to so...
Alliances Astrazeneca Bioethics Boehringer Clinical Research Organization Collaborations GSK Johnson & Johnson Lilly Merck Mergers and Acquisitions Nexium Novartis Pfizer Roche Sanofi ...
Biopharmaceuticals are medical drugs produced using biotechnology. They include proteins (including antibodies), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA or antisense oligonucleotides) and living microorganisms like virus and bacteria where the virulance of viruses and b...