In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, eyes have turned expectantly to the biopharmaceutical industry. But responding in real time is not what our drug development infrastructure has been designed to do. A lengthy clinical testing and regulatory review process can take years to navigate. Furthermore, the tendency of governments to cease funding against new viruses or bioterrorism agents once the threat subsides (as with the 2002 SARS epidemic) has kept many therapies from reaching the end zone. Understanding this, groups around the globe have been working to speed pandemic response times and shave inefficiencies from vaccine development; their efforts will now be put to the test by COVID-19.
Nature Biotechnology took a deep dive into lessons learned from previous pandemics and gauged current efforts against this international crisis. You can find the feature here.