by Marie Jung
BioCom’s October 13th Breakfast Meeting on “Zika Virus and Emerging Diseases” was not one to be missed, but in case you had something else going on, Clinical Currents is here to update you.
The talk was sponsored by DLA Piper, and was led by Karen Midthun, M.D., an Infectious Diseases specialist and former director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). Due to its major relevancy in the news, the Zika virus and the search for its cure had attracted many individuals. There were a variety of guests attending the breakfast meeting from a diverse set of fields like engineering consulting, life science insurance, and animal health, among others. The atmosphere, as well as the talk itself, had a major focus on the synthesis of biology and business, and the responsible applications of both.
The outline presented by the esteemed Dr. Midthun included the role of government in countermeasures, an analysis of similar public health issues through case studies, the need for collaboration of the public and private sectors, and a look towards the future on how society can do better when it comes to these outbreaks.
A lot of the speech was directed towards government policies towards infectious diseases, and also how the private sector could help by supplementing funding and support. Solutions included a change in framework, specialization of approaches based on individual epidemiology of outbreaks and using a multifaceted approach (such as genetically modified mosquitos). Dr. Midthun called for better inter and intra governmental collaboration as means for addressing epidemics, as well as increasing speed in developments of technical aspects of development and regulation.