READDI contributes to alliance in accelerating antiviral drug development

To fend off future pandemics, broad-spectrum small molecule drugs are critical, says CEO Jimmy Rosen during INTREPID Alliance Antiviral Summit.

By READDI, July 20th, 2023 – When it comes to pandemic preparedness, we must create a robust portfolio of medicines to address the full spectrum of threats likely to cause the next pandemic. That’s READDI’s approach, said CEO Jimmy Rosen during a panel presentation at the inaugural INTREPID Alliance Antiviral Summit last March in Washington, D.C. A report of the summit proceedings was published July 20.

Rosen described how READDI develops broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that are effective against entire families of viruses — those determined to pose the greatest future threats.

A public-private nonprofit committed to equitable global access, READDI has emerged as a leading authority in antiviral drug discovery and development among the world’s top pandemic preparedness experts. READDI plays a critical role in the three-pillared approach endorsed by the G7 leaders. Other groups work on diagnostics and vaccines. READDI develops antiviral therapeutics that fill the gap between disease outbreak and the eventual impact of vaccines.

Having broad-spectrum small molecule therapeutics ready to deploy at the first signs of a pandemic is critical to preventing sickness, hospitalization and death. During the summit, Rosen reiterated READDI’s commitment to ensuring that on Day 1 of the next pandemic, the world will be provided with a) effective antiviral therapies that are “phase 2 ready,” b) robust phase 2 and 3 randomized clinical trial designs, c) established manufacturing plans, and plans for equitable distribution and access.

Rosen joined nearly 100 international thought leaders in virology and global health for the one-day event, “Averting the Next Pandemic Now.” It was hosted by the INTREPID Alliance, a collaboration of seven pharmaceutical companies — AbbVie, Amgen, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Roche and Takeda — with antiviral drug discovery and development expertise. The overall tone of the meeting was positive and constructive, but speakers recognized the risk of pandemics has never been as great as it is today.

Presenting during a panel, “Non-industry Research Stakeholders, Priority Viral Families, Targets, and Research Programs,” Rosen announced that scientists from READDI have completed a landscape survey of all antiviral-development programs in priority virus families across industry and academia on the basis of a 10-year review of proprietary data and publicly available information. READDI will share insights from its database, which categorizes antivirals by stage of development, chemical and class.

“The goal of READDI,” he said, “is to establish a robust drug-development pipeline of antivirals by accelerating new antiviral discovery and development, aggregating, and advancing existing assets, and expediting treatment access globally.”

Joining Rosen on the panel were: Carl W. Dieffenbach from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Philip Sanderson from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; and David Wholley from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.

Summit speakers stressed the importance of the 100 Days Mission set forth by the G7 and run by the International Pandemic Preparedness Secretariat. The 100 DM seeks to develop and deploy high-quality diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines in just 100 days following the declaration of a pandemic, including 25 antiviral therapies for viral diseases with pandemic potential ready for Phase II/III clinical trials by 2026. READDI has begun advising the IPPS in its 100 DM goal of creating a therapeutics roadmap.

The summit proceedings report sets out 25 stakeholder recommendations from attendees to strengthen the global antiviral ecosystem for pandemic preparedness. These span R&D, regulatory coordination, access considerations, manufacturing and policy coordination.

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