Over the last few years pandemic resilience hasn’t just been a regional issue, but a global one. Together organisations have worked to tackle not only the COVID-19 pandemic but the wider field of infectious diseases demonstrating the importance of collaborative efforts to stand us in excellent stead to be resilient against any future pandemic issues we may face.
A leading beacon in this area is the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine which for 125 years has helped support responses not just in the UK but internationally to combat infectious diseases. Working with industry, government, and international aid organisations they continue to be a leading light in this area. This has been further supported by the development of the iiCON: Infection Innovation Consortium, launched through UKRI’s Strength in Places program, this world leading centre for infectious R&D has, in its first 24 months, already enabled 19 products to get to market, helped secure £200 million of funding for innovation related to infection control and supported the creation of 176 jobs in the sector.
This was why at the recent cluster anniversary conference (proudly hosted by the national research and innovation campus Sci-Tech Daresbury), it was such an exciting opportunity to bring together this community, working with LSTM and iicon.
The event highlighted not only some of the incredible work happening currently in this exciting innovation ecosystem, but also considered what the next 25 years could have in store, with insights shared from colleagues at national bodies including Medicines Discovery Catapult, BBSRC, LifeArc and UK Health Security Agency
We heard from companies looking to improve diagnostics (such as PBD Biotech), to those designing new approaches & therapeutics (Entropix Ltd, Destiny Pharma plc, ReNewVax Ltd) to the perspectives from leading Vaccine Manufacturers on what next (such as CSL Seqirus, AstraZeneca and Moderna).
What a sincere pleasure it was to hear how capabilities continue to grow in this evolving landscape (particularly within the region) and what we need to be mindful of if we are to reap lessons learned.