COVID-19 Vaccine & Treatment Development Accelerated From Public-Private Partnerships

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) empowers industry collaborations
testing drugs to cure covid-19 partnerships
(Coronavirus Today)

Two U.S. government agencies are bringing together more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The planned Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership announced on April 17, 2020, will develop a collaborative framework for prioritizing vaccine and drug candidates, streamlining clinical trials, coordinating regulatory processes and/or leveraging assets among all partners to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 and future pandemics. 

This effort is part of the whole-of-government, whole-of-America response the Administration has led to beat COVID-19.

“We need to bring the full power of the biomedical research enterprise to bear on this crisis,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., in a press release. 

“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.”

Coordinated by the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH), ACTIV government and industry partners will provide infrastructure, subject matter expertise and/or funding (both new and in-kind) to identify, prioritize and facilitate the entry of some of the most promising candidates into clinical trials. 

Industry partners also will make available certain prioritized compounds, some of which have already cleared various phases of development, and associated data to support research related to COVID-19.  

The partnership is being developed with input from a steering committee managed by the FNIH which includes leaders from NIH, FDA and the research and development organizations of the companies.

“Battling the COVID-19 pandemic is far too great a challenge for any one company or institution to solve alone,” said Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and President, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Pfizer.

 “We are seeing an unprecedented level of collaboration across the innovation ecosystem to address this global health crisis, and this potentially powerful NIH initiative may allow us to further accelerate the delivery of much-needed therapies to patients around the world.” 

The research community is currently striving to sift through more than 100 potential preventives and therapeutics for COVID-19. 

ACTIV will aim to provide guidance that can be used to prioritize the plethora of vaccine and therapeutic candidates in development and connect clinical trial networks to test new and repurposed candidates quickly and efficiently.

“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,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. 

“Collaboration is a critical ingredient for success and the FDA will continue to use every tool possible under our Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program.”

The ACTIV will have four fast-track focus areas, each of which will be led by a highly motivated working group of senior scientists representing government, industry and academia.

“This powerful public-private partnership will focus and expedite R&D activities required to combat COVID-19,” says Maria C. Freire, Ph.D., President and Executive Director, FNIH. 

“Working in lock-step, the public and private sectors will maximize the chances of success and provide a roadmap to pre-emptively manage future threats.”

Visit FNIH for additional information.

Coronavirus Today publishes COVID-19 pandemic news.