COVID 19 – an accordionists approach to the medicine development
It seems hardly necessary to discuss the impact that ‘the Virus’ has on every part of our society, on every fiber of our system and on every aspect of our daily life. Equally so, it has affected the life and work of all our FIGON partners. These partners have at least 1 thing in common: dedication to innovative drug research and development. To rapidly respond to the medical need in the face of the pandemic is a mammoth task. It will require combined efforts from medical specialists, researchers, governments, drug development companies, and many others in order to succeed. We have no time to lose. With the upsurge of the virus, that continues to roam the globe today, we have to understand this virus to be able to develop vaccines and treatments. And so, within weeks, the full-length genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was elucidated, allowing the start of drug development. An adequate pharmaceutical response to SARS-CoV-2 infection may prevent disease and allow patients to recover. Only through a vaccine, we can prevent, and only with antiviral treatments and patient care, we can medically treat, COVID-19. This task is taken to heart by all of us. Our FIGON partners are all involved in the search, the research, the development, the evaluation of potential safe and effective treatments and vaccines, or the treatment of patients; be it experimental, be it to care for the ill. All involved are pushed to reach out and collaborate across boundaries in an unprecedented exercise to find multiple, effective solutions. With combined efforts we can compress the time it takes to the essential. Where most aspects of drug development were sequential in the past, now they are increasingly overlapping. COVID-19 requires us to address every aspect of the development in parallel, like an accordionist pressing the bellows of its instrument to squeeze out the last whiff of air. And thus, the 2020 DMD Virtual series presents insights in the efforts of our partners, who operate at the forefront of this development. Over the next couple of weeks, we will host several sessions that address the challenges that we face addressing this global health threat and show you how, through collaboration, we can face this global challenge.
Just Weemers, Chair of the Organizing Committee DMD 2020