Stories@Gilead – June 28, 2022
New therapeutic options and vaccines are being developed at a pace once unimaginable. The need to act globally to accelerate the discovery and development of antiviral therapeutics is demanding thoughtful coordination and collaboration of scientists, industry and community partners.
“The world of health and medicine has been reshaped during the past two years, expedited by needing to address unmet medical needs brought to light during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Frank Duff, Gilead’s Senior Vice President of Virology Therapeutic Area. “It’s altered our understanding of what’s possible.”
As a physician with more than 25 years of experience in virology research, Frank is leading Gilead’s virology clinical development team in addressing some of the world’s most challenging viruses. He’s dedicated to pioneering the next wave of innovation in virology from HIV, hepatitis, COVID-19 and more – while prioritizing meeting the needs of all people.
“Gilead’s decades of expertise and leadership in virology is admirable,” says Frank. “Our researchers have a long history of developing antiviral treatments that have helped bring vital change for people and communities affected by some of the most challenging public health concerns.”
Different approaches for research and innovation
For Frank, a new era in virological care will demand several different approaches: novel medicines and innovative development approaches, inclusive research and discoveries that advance health equity, and assessing and addressing unmet medical needs for people around the world. He also sees an urgent need for continued scientific discovery that facilitates the development of person-centered therapeutic options.
“One of the ways we’re ensuring our science is person-centric is by bringing community voices into the research process – from planning to execution, to looking at real-world and participant-reported outcomes,” explains Frank. “For example, we’ve been working with community-based advisors to apply their knowledge and personal experiences to HIV prevention research programs.”
Frank’s team is also spearheading additional innovative programs which include communities that have been historically underrepresented in clinical research such as members of the LGBTQ+ community, women, young people and people of color.
“We hope that all people who have unmet needs across different therapeutic areas – and their healthcare providers – will have options and the data they need to make informed healthcare decisions,” says Frank.
Global health issues are expected to increase in coming years, as countries and economies around the world become even more connected. Frank and his colleagues are focused on scientific discoveries to address future public health challenges. They continue to invest heavily in researching new therapeutic options with the potential to benefit a broad range of individuals.
“We recognize that our long-standing expertise in virology enables us to bring forward person-centered innovation to help fulfill urgent global needs,” says Frank. “Together, we’re committed to advancing antiviral research that promises innovation for future generations to help address viral outbreaks and pandemics.”