WHO convenes a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international actions in response to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
“Harnessing the power of science is essential to controlling this outbreak,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “There are questions that we need answers to and tools that we need to develop as quickly as possible. WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing together the scientific community to identify research priorities and accelerate progress.”
The forum, which will be held from 11 to 12 February in Geneva, is organized in collaboration with the Global Research Collaboration for the preparation of infectious diseases.
The forum will bring together key players, including prominent scientists, as well as public health agencies, ministries of health and research funders pursuing key animal health and public health research 2019-nCoV and the development of vaccines, therapies and diagnoses, among Other innovations
Participants will discuss different areas of research, including identifying the source of the virus and exchanging biological samples and genetic sequences.
Experts will build on existing research on the SARS and MERS coronavirus and identify knowledge gaps and research priorities to accelerate the scientific information and medical products most needed to minimize the impact of the 2019-nCoV epidemic.
The meeting is expected to produce a global research agenda for the new coronavirus, setting priorities and frameworks that can guide which projects are undertaken first. “Understanding the disease, its reservoirs, transmission and clinical severity and therefore developing effective countermeasures is essential for controlling the epidemic, reducing deaths and minimizing the economic impact,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist. .
This will also accelerate the development and evaluation of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines and drugs, while establishing mechanisms for affordable access to vulnerable populations and facilitating community participation.
“The WHO research and development plan is a comprehensive strategy and preparation platform that guides the coordinated development of medicines and vaccines before outbreaks and allows for rapid activation of research and development activities during outbreaks. It accelerates the availability of diagnosis, vaccines, treatments and technologies that ultimately save lives “, added dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergency Program.
Setting clear global research priorities for the new coronavirus should lead to more efficient investment, high-quality research and synergies among global researchers.