Remdesivir has become a blockbuster drug in short time thanks in part to a pandemic-driven ACTIV-1 clinical trial and subsequent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) in May followed by permanent approval on October 22. Any successful drug development endeavor most often involves an intense collaboration between scientists and in this case the University of North Carolina Baric Lab deserves strong mention. Why? Because Remdesivir was developed via an academic-corporate partnership between Gilead Sciences and the Baric Lab at UNC’s Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. After all, Gilead needed the brain power associated with Ralph Baric and team. The William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology has investigated coronaviruses for three decades and has actually pioneered rapid-response investigations of this class of pathogen. That’s how therapeutics come about and how this $1+ billion blockbuster, involved undoubtedly with many thankful patients, was made possible due in part to the work of Baric and team.
Recently, Elena Tsai writing for the the Daily Tar Heel reminded all the importance of this particular academic medical center partnership. TrialSite, with an emphasis on the research center and trial site organization (and investigators and staff) also congratulate Baric Lab at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Ralph S Baric, PhD, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology
Call to Action: All sponsors should be aware as to the depth and extent of the coronavirus expertise associated with this group.