While we should be hesitant in saying the COVID-19 pandemic will be over soon (I think we were all saying that last spring, after all) there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel, thanks primarily to pharma’s historic R&D efforts in new drugs and vaccines.
It seems like a good time, then, for the industry to start doing what it was unable to do at the outset of COVID-19 – planning for the future to ensure the R&D landscape can remain as strong as it is now.
As we find out in this issue, achieving this will require the industry to harness agile working, digitalisation and new, collaborative infrastructures.
Luckily, these are all things that pharma has already embraced during the pandemic, as we see in interviews with LEO Pharma’s new R&D lead Jörg Möller and data specialist Dr Maria Chatzou Dunford, as well as experts from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Advanced Clinical and Bruntwood SciTech, among many others.
We also shine a light on some of the smaller life science companies aiding the COVID response, and with commentary from NexGen Healthcare Communications’ Emma Sutcliffe look at initiatives and digital innovations that are helping to combat the ‘invisibility’ of rare disease patients.
I hope you’re all staying safe in these unpredictable times!
George Underwood – editor, Deep Dive