Balancing R&D for Disease X and common illnesses

Stakeholders from across the industry, including biopharmaceutical companies, governments, and non-profit organizations, are rethinking their pandemic readiness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with a new focus on the next potential threat of a highly pathogenic new virus or Disease X.1

So how can companies strike the balance between investing in research and development (R&D) for the next infectious disease, alongside more common illnesses that are already widespread?

Targeted investment with additional support
Whether an organization is looking to expedite its progress for Disease X, or other more common infectious diseases, the best approach will focus on targeted investment and support.

A highly focused contract research organization (CRO) with specialized resources and ready-to-go solutions can act as an extension of a sponsor’s laboratories. Such a CRO laboratory partner should have the right infrastructure, along with a skilled and knowledgeable team of scientists with domain experience.

Translational science and innovation
Introducing biomarkers or novel technologies into clinical research is challenging and calls for additional research and evaluation as part of the process. Laboratories working on innovative solutions can address challenges, providing agility and breadth of translational science capabilities, and the expertise required to bridge the gap between preclinical and early clinical drug development.

Assay libraries can deliver time advantages
CROs with expertise in the field have been working to create efficacy assay libraries with the aim of accelerating vaccine development. Our infectious disease portfolio at Q2 Solutions is made up of more than 350 assays (including respiratory panel and sequencing, viral load, and serology assays) and covers a broad range of potential infectious diseases that can support timely access to the right assays for clinical trials.

Sponsors do not need to start again in their approach. By leveraging both the breadth and depth of their CRO’s experience, sponsors can build on previous assay work to enable a crucial advantage when it matters most.

Decentralized trial services and central lab support can add value
Sponsors can drive efficiencies by leveraging decentralized trial services for both Disease X and more common illnesses, whether that is part of a traditional development program or in a remote scenario where diseases may be highly infectious or spread across a wide geography.

Central laboratory services can also complement this approach by ensuring consistency of testing specimens and offering sponsors long-term solutions for global infectious disease trials.

Looking forward, sponsors can depend on their CRO counterparts and take advantage of their expertise within novel infectious diseases to balance alongside their other R&D endeavors. This parallel approach can deliver game-changing innovations, so sponsors can optimize their investment and stay ahead.

This is a summary of an article written by Patrice Hugo and published on PharmiWeb. Read the full article here,

Patrice Hugo, Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, Q2 Solutions

1 Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations website. 100 days. Available at: [Last accessed: September 2022].