Partners of Translation Together, including EATRIS, have published an article in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery reflecting on successes and challenges in regional COVID-19 pandemic responses and proposes five priorities to improve preparedness for future pandemics. Translation Together is a unique collaboration of leading translational research organisations from around the world including AdMare Bioinnovations (Canada), LifeArc (UK), NCATS (US), TIA (Australia), Fiocruz (Brazil), AMED (Japan) and EATRIS (Europe).
In the publication, the authors draw on experiences and lessons learned in the COVID-19 pandemic to propose the following five actions to improve the preparedness of the translational research community for future public health crises and improve global health:
- Establish a global ‘safe-zone’ for open and real-time sharing of precompetitive data.
- Build flexible and responsive infrastructures for critical drug development resources.
- Improve tracking and coordination to avoid undesired duplicative efforts.
- Establish adaptive funding structures.
- Work towards establishing and maintaining public health and pandemic readiness.
In conclusion, the authors highlight that the global translational science community responded to COVID-19 at unprecedented scale and speed, with an unparalleled level of international collaboration. The response led to significant scientific advances but also indicated areas that can be improved. Translation Together members faced similar bottlenecks and challenges in facilitating and coordinating translational efforts, irrespective of global locations.