Doha: Some of the world’s leading experts on vaccines will discuss vaccine innovation at this year’s World Innovation Summit for Health, taking place in Doha, Qatar, in a hybrid format from October 4 to 6.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at World Health Organization (WHO); Dr. Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI); and Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford and co-founder of Vaccitech, are among those who will take the stage throughout the three-day event.
The panellists will explore the role of innovation in developing COVID-19 vaccines, and the impact this will have on the development of vaccines that work against new COVID variants, as well as other viral infectious diseases.
Traditionally it takes around 10 years, from Phase 1 testing to approval for a new drug to reach the market. The COVID-19 pandemic turned this timeline on its head, with multiple vaccines receiving emergency use approval in a fraction of this time. Professor Sarah Gilbert was at the forefront of this achievement and is credited with saving millions of lives, having co-developed the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine; one of the first vaccines made available for use around the world, with more than two billion doses having been distributed to at least 170 countries.
Dr. Swaminathan, a paediatrician and globally recognised researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, has 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programs. At WHO, she ensures that the organization stays ahead of the curve and leverages advances in science and technology for public health and clinical care, and is able to translate new knowledge into meaningful impact on population health worldwide.
A medical doctor by training, Dr. Kim is a recognized leader in HIV research and vaccine development. He has been listed among the 50 most influential persons in vaccines and led the US Army’s RV144 HIV vaccine trial in Thailand, the first demonstration that a HIV vaccine could prevent human infection. During his tenure, IVI had a hand in the development of the oral cholera vaccine.
“At WISH, we recognize the profound negative physical and psychological effects on health posed by issues such as pandemics, and believe that dialogue between stakeholders, practitioners and policymakers, as well as innovation, are essential in mitigating future health emergencies,” said Sultana Afdhal, CEO of WISH.
“Over the past couple of years, we have all been reminded of just how vital vaccine research and development is, and why innovation in this area is fundamental to safeguarding the health of populations. We are honored to host the world’s brightest minds in vaccine innovation at WISH 2022, and we look forward to hearing them share their knowledge and learnings from responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Each of the topics discussed at WISH 2022 is underpinned by an evidence-based policy report – drafted under the direction of a Forum Advisory Group made up of global health experts, that offers concrete policy recommendations. The WISH Vaccine Innovation Forum will release a report around the summit to review the enablers of pharmaceutical innovation, from advancements in technology to operational excellence and clinical trial design, and provide policy recommendations to build on this progress for future vaccines.
WISH, Qatar Foundation’s global health initiative, is committed to gathering healthcare experts, policymakers and innovators to unite in the goal of building a healthier world. The goal of the biennial WISH Summit is to showcase WISH’s evidence-based research and discuss how to translate these findings into practical, policy-driven solutions that help transform global healthcare delivery.