London, 30 November 2015 -- In an effort to improve the prospects for a rapid and coordinated clinical research response to the next outbreak or pandemic, ISARIC has brought together key Stakeholders for a global meeting held at the Wellcome Trust in London today and tomorrow.
The meeting is attended by representatives for clinical research networks, clinicians, research funders, public health bodies, industry, and NGOs globally.
One of the key lessons learnt from the Ebola research response effort in West Africa is that it is crucial to get working relations and collaborations in place between key partners in the interpandemic period in order to avoid any disruptions to the response due to operational causes. Bureaucratic and logistical processes, such as the writing and signing of contracts, between collaborating organisations has been flagged as one significant hurdle in the effort to bring the BCV therapeutic trail up and running in Liberia, for example (Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/ebola-embed-research-in-outbreak-response-1.18110)
Apart from facilitating a discussion on collaboration, the meeting seeks to identify pathways for strengthened capacity-building for research preparedness, particularly in low and mid-income countries, and discuss the potential for setting up a global rapid response task force within the clinical research community that can be deployed rapidly to outbreaks where there is a lack of resources and capacity. Participants will also explore the potential barriers and bottlenecks to rapid research responses, and seek potential solutions.
The meeting is taking place at the Wellcome Trust in London, and it will be followed by ISARIC’s Executive Committee meeting which will seek to incorporate the proceedings into ISARIC’s strategic objectives.