Global R&D Efforts To Address Emerging Infectious Diseases Should Build Upon Lessons From U.S. Biodefense Product Development

Nature Biotechnology: Preparing for the next Zika
Kendall Hoyt, assistant professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and Richard Hatchett, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority

“…The development of new biomedical countermeasures — vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic — requires the coordination of a wide number of institutional and industry actors to succeed. … Three elements of the U.S. approach should be adapted to an international effort to develop medical countermeasures: mechanisms to coordinate stakeholders, define priorities, and direct resources; an incubator to provide hands-on product development support to private sector partners; and institutional and technical platforms to accelerate response times. … Guided by the above lessons, we envision an international enterprise with three operational pillars: the first pillar would focus on basic discovery and preclinical development; the second on clinical and advanced product development; and the third on procurement mechanisms and advance market commitments. … As momentum builds for a global solution to support medical countermeasure development, it is important to recognize that funding by itself will not ensure success. Success will hinge on our ability to implement an effective governance structure to coordinate research and product development on a global scale…” (April 2016)