As the threat of COVID-19 became apparent over the last year, one of the most encouraging responses was the willingness of medical, scientific and pharmaceutical companies to embrace new ways of doing things to fight the virus.
In particular, there was a level of international collaboration I’ve never seen before in my time working in the industry.
All parties correctly assessed that this was a global problem requiring global solutions.
Without these bigger-picture solutions, the threat of the coronavirus would never fully abate – and our way of life would never return to normal.
At Linear Clinical Research, we were thrilled to collaborate with SPARK Global, a translational research organisation based out of Stanford University in the US, on a nasal drops trial with the potential to help millions of people worldwide, if proven effective.
This relationship came about due to both parties seeking partnerships and a collaboration model that ordinarily might not happen – in this case, the pressing nature of the threat faced required new ways of doing business which has seen the international project completed in record time with new opportunities springing up as a result.
Linear is also working on a COVID-19 vaccine trial with Clover Biopharmaceuticals and their international partners, one of the many promising candidates being developed around the world. From the outset, a key attraction of this project was the focus on finding vaccines that would be accessible fairly across the globe which was evident in their commitment to the COVAX facility. With rising caseloads across the world, having broad based solutions is even more paramount.
These two projects are gigantic coups for Western Australia, its life sciences industry and its international reputation.
In fact, right across Australia we’re seeing unprecedented levels of innovation and scientific achievement, driven by the pressing nature of the coronavirus.
It is vital that we don’t go back to the old way of working. Instead, we need to take these new and innovative approaches and apply them to the range of other problems facing Australia and the world.
While COVID-19 is the current and most present threat to our way of life, lives continue to be lost here and around the world to cancer, diabetes and a range of other diseases.
While we take our health system and access to medicines for granted in developed nations like Australia, it’s important we double down on creating new ways of working, new partnerships and the projects that can offer solutions to people suffering right around the world.
What we’ve proven over the past year is that we can achieve great things by driving and investing in international collaboration, fast-tracking pathways to research and thinking bigger.
If this continues, who knows what we might be able to achieve in the future?