IVI in the Media
A global roadmap for MERS-CoV research and product development published in Nature Medicine
A report from a World Health Organization (WHO) consultation convened on 10-11 December 2015 to develop a roadmap for MERS-CoV research activities was published in Nature Medicine. The meeting gathered leading experts and stakeholders from around the world, including IVI Director General, Jerome Kim, one of the co-authors of the report.
The emergence and persistence of MERS-CoV in recent years highlights the need for the rapid development of effective interventions such as diagnostic, prophylactic and therapeutic products. In the aftermath of the 2014-’16 Ebola epidemic and the current Zika virus outbreak, it has become clear that more strategic investments are needed in the early development of interventions against pathogens of pandemic potential. With this in mind, the WHO is developing a blueprint for emergency R&D to prevent the impact of infectious disease outbreaks. MERS-CoV is one of the eight pathogens prioritized in the WHO blueprint and was selected as a case study to assess how research and product development activities could be better supported and coordinated.
The report summarizes major topics of discussion at the consultation that included baseline assessment and current knowledge about MERS-CoV epidemiology; diagnostic assay development and standardization; therapeutics; and vaccines. A research and product development roadmap for MERS-CoV was drafted; and priority activities were developed and will be further developed in consultation with funders and stakeholders.
In summary, global coordination in response to outbreaks has improved since the Ebola epidemic and there are preclinical candidates in the pipeline for MERS-CoV interventions. However MERS-CoV products will have to be developed more quickly, requiring greater investments by multiple funders for development, manufacturing, preclinical and clinical testing, and efficacy testing in affected populations. Therefore, funders and stakeholders must develop a strategy on how to best target their investments in anticipation of future outbreaks.
Read it here:http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v22/n7/full/nm.4131.html