A message from MMV's CEO, David Reddy
Since 25 February, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Switzerland, MMV has been keeping a watchful eye on the progress of this disease. Our first thoughts were, and continue to be, the wellbeing of our patients and volunteers taking part in our malaria drug trials, and our network of amazing, dedicated partners and staff.
The world has now mobilized en masse in a tremendous show of collaboration and partnership from every nation, sector, industry, organization and community against COVID-19, which is having a devastating impact globally. It is now moving into resource-limited settings, where its impact could potentially be even greater, due to the fragility of healthcare systems. Furthermore, COVID-19 will compromise control efforts on epidemics like malaria; even more worrying is its potential to compromise access to life-saving antimalarial medicines and emergency care – especially for children under 5 years of age, who are at greatest risk of malaria morbidity and mortality.
Product Development Partnerships like MMV are contributing in important ways to the global effort against COVID-19. Over recent years MMV has developed end-to-end capabilities spanning drug discovery, development and delivery, that have brought new malaria medicines to millions in need. MMV’s efforts in malaria are more crucial now than ever. In the near-term our effort requires a “pivot” of activities towards those that could have greatest impact in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Safeguarding access to critical medicine
- Providing assets and expertise to help lessen the impact of COVID-19 e.g., assays, compounds and modelling and simulation expertise
- Contributing to the collection of data needed to support decision-making
MMV is also contributing its expertise to various high-level working groups convened by the WHO Global Malaria Programme, and to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI). We will continue to contribute our extensive skills, capabilities and networks, openly and wholeheartedly, to get this global pandemic under control, while remaining committed to our malaria mission.
The anxiety of people across the world today with regard to the impact of COVID-19 on their loved ones echoes the deep, unheard concern of millions of parents of malaria-infected children every day – fear that rarely comes to light. Over the past 20 years our co-developed antimalarials have saved over 2.2 million lives, and we will continue our collaborative work with research and policy partners to achieve our vision of a malaria-free world.
Stay safe and stay well in mind, body and spirit in these unprecedented times.
CEO, Medicines for Malaria Venture