By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media
Five major federal agencies and more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies are forming a public-private partnership called Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV), a big-league cooperative formed to solve a big-league problem.
Under the guidance of the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the NIH, ACTIV will prioritize COVID-19 therapeutic and vaccine candidates, streamline clinical trials, and coordinate regulatory processes.
“We need to bring the full power of the biomedical research enterprise to bear on this crisis,” NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, said in a statement. “Now is the time to come together with unassailable objectivity to swiftly advance the development of the most promising vaccine and therapeutic candidates that can help end the COVID-19 global pandemic.”
NIH reports there are more than 100 potential preventive and therapeutic remedies under investigation. Certainly, this includes major drugmakers testing existing medications (e.g., Gilead and remdesivir), but also major research universities studying both therapeutics and potential vaccine candidates. This is a race to the finish line, but coordination is vital.
“Using the most advanced clinical trial methods to rapidly test multiple interventions will help get the answers we need as soon as possible to expedite potential prevention and treatment approaches to fight COVID-19,” FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD, said. “Collaboration is a critical ingredient for success, and the FDA will continue to use every tool possible under our Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program to speed the development of safe and effective medical countermeasures.”