BioCentury expands COVID-19 gateway to connect biotechs, researchers with COVID R&D consortium members

BioCentury has expanded the reach of its COVID-19 Resource Center to enable companies and researchers to submit details of investigational products directly to the pharma companies collaborating within the COVID R&D consortium.

The consortium, comprising more than a dozen top biopharma companies, is collaborating in a precompetitive forum to expedite the development of countermeasures for COVID-19 (see “Pharmas Align Behind Crowdsourcing Solution”).

The consortium is driving creation of therapies and vaccines, evaluating agents from the member companies’ own pipelines as well as concepts put forward by other biotechs or researchers.

The consortium is also drawing ideas from compounds represented in BioCentury’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

Last week, BioCentury launched a gateway enabling submission of compounds for inclusion in the resource center, which tracks preclinical and clinical therapeutics and vaccines, with a diagnostics tracker to be added soon (See “BioCentury Launches Gateway”).

The center to date lists over 300 compounds, as well as a timeline of clinical trial readouts and other resources for researchers.

Now, the expanded gateway directly supports the “crowdsourcing solution.” Companies and researchers can use the submission form to channel their ideas directly to the pharmas for consideration by one of the consortium’s seven groups: clinical phase repurposing, preventive vaccines, novel antibodies, novel small molecule antivirals, preclinical repurposing, data sharing or clinical trial acceleration.

Investigators submitting compounds can elect whether their programs should be included in BioCentury’s open-access resource center, sent for consideration by the consortium, or both.

Submissions should contain only non-confidential information, and can include compounds or assays for COVID-19. The consortium also is interested in resources and tools that could support the effort, such as data or data-sharing resources, clinical trial designs or clinical trial protocols.

Diagnostics can be submitted for inclusion in BioCentury’s information center but are out of scope for the pharma group.

Members of the consortium have told BioCentury that there is no transfer of IP associated with COVID R&D, meaning that companies and institutions will retain the IP on any assets proposed, allowing them to be licensed in subsequent partnerships.

Agents that are taken up for investigation are channeled via the preclinical repurposing group through initial screening assays to determine potency. This is intended to provide a unified platform for comparing activity.

Kara Carter, EVP of infectious diseases at Evotec AG (Xetra:EVT) who runs this group, told BioCentury that contributors can elect whether to “keep their compounds in the work stream” or continue via a different path alone or with a partner to develop the compounds.

BioCentury retains exclusive editorial control of compounds listed in its roster. BioCentury does not participate in any decisions by the COVID R&D consortium regarding compound selection.

COVID R&D members include: AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV); Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN); Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN); AstraZeneca plc (LSE:AZN; NYSE:AZN); Bayer AG (Xetra:BAYN); Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY); Eisai Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4523); Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY); Evotec AG (Xetra:EVT); Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD); GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK); Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ); Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; SIX:NOVN); Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Tokyo:4502; NYSE:TAK).

Two VCs, 5 AM Ventures and Versant Ventures, are also members.

Further analysis of the coronavirus crisis can be found at

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