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Press Conference: Coronavirus (COVID-19) | DAVOS 2020

Jeremy Farrar
Director at Wellcome Trust
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World Economic Forum 2020
January 23, 2020, Davos, Switzerland
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Press Conference: Coronavirus (COVID-19) | DAVOS 2020
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About speakers

Jeremy Farrar
Director at Wellcome Trust
Juliana Chan
Chief Executive Officer at Wildtype Media Group
Stéphane Bancel
Chief Executive Officer at Moderna
Richard Hatchett
Chief Executive Officer at Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI)

Director of the Wellcome Trust – a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation that exists to improve health by helping big ideas to thrive. Clinician scientist who before joining Wellcome was, for eighteen years, Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Viet Nam, where research interests were in infectious diseases and global health with a focus on emerging infections. Has published almost 600 articles. Named 12th in the Fortune list of 50 World’s Greatest Leaders in 2015 and was awarded the Memorial Medal and Ho Chi Minh City Medal from the Government of Viet Nam. 2018, awarded the President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian of the Year Award. Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences United Kingdom, the National Academies USA, the European Molecular Biology Organisation and a Fellow of The Royal Society. Knighted (2018) for services to global health.

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Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Wildtype Media Group, Asia's leading STEM-focused media company, spanning digital, print, custom publishing and events. BA and MA in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; PhD in Biology and postdoctoral research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. Recipient of honours and awards, including: L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship; 2013 Singapore Youth Award; 2014 MIT Technology Review's 10 Innovators Under 35 (Asia); 2017 ACS Nano Junior Fellowship. Research work into drug delivery and nanomedicine has been featured by the BBC, MIT Technology Review and South China Morning Post. Inventor on four US patents, three of which have been licensed for commercialization. Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum. Member, World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer Selection Committee.

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MA in Engineering, École Central Paris; MSc in Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota; MBA, Harvard Business School. President and Chief Executive Officer, Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that researches and develops protein therapies based on novel messenger RNA technology. Former: Executive Director, Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain, Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, Indiana; Managing Director, Eli Lilly, Belgium; Chief Executive Officer, bioMérieux, a world leader in the diagnostics industry. Supervisory Director, Qiagen; Executive Chairman of the Board, BG Medicine; Member, Board of Directors, Syros Pharmaceuticals. Named as an inventor on over 45 patent application filings in the field of messenger RNA technology. Recipient of honours and awards, including: best CEO for investor relations in France (2009); ranked the number one CEO in the biotech sector, 2011 Thomson Reuters EXTEL Study.

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Graduate, Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt University Medical School; Residency in Internal Medicine, New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center; Fellowship in Medical Oncology, Duke University Medical Center; MD. Formerly; served on the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush; Member, White House National Security Staff under President Barack Obama; Chief Medical Officer, Deputy Director and acting Director, US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); oversaw programmes to develop medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases and led or helped lead the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for a number of emerging viruses, including the H3N2v and H7N9 influenza viruses, MERS, Ebola, and Zika. Chief Executive Officer, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that will finance and coordinate the development of vaccines against high-priority public health threats and vaccine platform technologies to respond rapidly to emerging infectious diseases with pandemic or epidemic potential. Recipient: HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service; NIH Director’s Merit Award (five-times).

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About the talk

Session Recorded: January 23rd, 2020

Hundreds of people have been sickened by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) since December. As the situation evolves, what have we learned from previous outbreaks and what are the priorities for response?

Get ahead of the issues shaping global health security in 2020.

Speakers: Jeremy Farrar, Juliana Chan, Stéphane Bancel, Richard Hatchett

The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.

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My name is Juliana Chan and the Chief Executive Officer of wild-type Media Group in a science Communicator base in Singapore that of a novel coronavirus the Wuhan virus this name because it first appeared in December in a seafood market in behind the largest city in hefei province in central China with a population of 11 million stars, which caused the death of nearly 650 people across mean in China. And today we have more than 570 cases and 17 reported deaths just to take a few hours ago Singapore where I'm from announce its

first confirmed case. So we have Tree Experts with us today to help us put in contacts the unfolding situation on my left. We have. Dr. Jeremy for raw director of the wellcome trust in the UK. Next we have dr. Richard Hatchet Chief Executive Officer of Stampy which stands for Coalition for academic preparedness and Innovation and Final sell yourself Madonna a US base biotech company what we are dealing with right now and for that Jeremy and Richard, could you kindly tell us what we

know now of the virus and what do we expect to have the Knicks? What I'm going to say, I infectious disease my background very very closely with China during the salt outbreak and it's been 20 years living in Vietnam, but we'll keep very close to How many countries in the region so that's my background of where I come from this infection which has come about from the beginning of December started as you say in an animal knock kids in Wuhan and probably was a

virus that was affecting animals most likely I think that's in that market and it crossed the species barrier and it came into infecting humans who were working on visiting Market subsequently through the month of December in the days of January not infection spread from animal to human but then most importantly from Human to human and now we are we are about 6 weeks into this outbreak this far as can now clearly spread between humans it spread by the respiratory tract. That means the

symptoms would have a cough. A sore throat and would pass it to somebody else by coughing or sneezing in the same way. That influenza is is a spread around people. It is not caused. The virus is in a similar family to Saw's but this looks different to saws and the difference is probably it's easier to pass between human beings with quite difficult to pass between humans and people were most infectious when they have symptoms and therefore it was relatively easy to bring me up in the back under control when the outbreak when the

infection spreads between humans easily. It's actually very difficult to bring the epidemic under control and said there's a very big difference between Saws and what we believe we know about this Forest so far. The infection is spreading, of course China and many cities in China have reported cases in Singapore reported the case of the countryside, but I think we can expect that will be many more cases in China. Will be many more cases in other parts of the world. I would stress also encompasses the Infectious rate will probably mean in the long term that

it will cause a few people will die 10% of people died in saws. I suspect the mortality rate with this infection will be lower than that as it spreads to as much wider population. So what we have is a Bruder infection with probably a less marked number people percentage of people dying but that is a subway from public health effects of his how to deal with we can't predict the future. We living in the pairs of great uncertainty at the moment because we don't have all the information. We need China recognize the song and therefore it

alerted the world to this outbreak company that would not have happened maybe 10 or 20 years ago and we should congratulate charger in the way. They've been open in sharing is the information the future. Go to think about how we can prepare Now by developing vaccines rich and we'll talk about that drugs that may account to this infection, but we'll see what we can do it a public health and Society level to try and prevent the epidemics writing. Otherwise do thank you Jeremy. Jeremy has given a summary of what we know. I think I would like to

underscore what we don't currently know and what makes it very difficult. It's Jeremy saying to prognosticate the future. We do not have a detailed understanding of infectiousness. We are inferring a lot from the numbers of cases and I didn't I think Jeremy's inferences are strong. But but we have to recognize that we don't know anything. I will certainly yet. We don't understand the transmission dynamics of the disease. We don't understand yet the severity of the disease. It is very difficult during a. When the number of cases is increasing exponentially to make

inferences about this. Charity to understand what the mortality rate actually is. We don't know the number of cases. We don't know the extent of spread. This is all critical information. It will inform what is required to bring the outbreak under control and I am sure the Chinese authorities are digging as quickly and deeply as they can to understand all of these factors in until over the next several weeks and even months we will have a greater understanding of all of these issues and it will help us Taylor and Target our response appropriately

by point of comparison in in 2009. I was working in the White House helping orchestrate the pandemic response to each one in one. When do by the end of April that the virus that was spreading each one in one was going to cause a global pandemic. We did not have an accurate estimate of severity until August and that was with the virus. It was reasonably well understood from the beginning and very intensively studied. So many of these answers may not become available in in the time fashion that we would all white and we're going to have to make decisions under

ambiguity and uncertainty and we're going to have to make decisions that have potentially very significant cost. We we are seeing that currently in China with some of the decisions about travel restrictions in we as an organization set the we were set up two fun facts and development vaccine development is a very expensive undertaking but if we don't take steps now, we won't have the vaccines in a timely fashion. Thank you Richard. So Jeremy, this is for you. So I'm single I'm Singapore in Chinese and you may be aware that on Saturday is the first day of Chinese New Year

is for Insignia to leave hundreds of millions of Chinese people around the world will be traveling through either go home or visitor. We know that they've already knocked down the city of Wuhan countries taking enough precautionary measures. What else must be doing this outbreak as a time. I mean Chinese New Year and then many people in the region and then and then globally during the Panic of 2009 with Richard refers to when Vietnam War was living at the time travel restrictions, very important measure sense that the authorities are doing something very important

statements of communities that this is the actual impact of travel restrictions at least in my opinion of I'm not going to be the answer everybody traveling. If you stop people traveling they often find other ways to travel maybe not so obvious in the end. If you are if I were infectious now with no symptoms, I could pass it don't even know you that you may not know I was sick. So travel restrictions can buy use a bit of time and that's very important to do it might buy you a day in like a week. It might buy you two or three weeks, but in the end you

have to use that time to put in place the critical Public Health interventions that you need to travel restrictions on there. I will not stop this epidemic movie. Davos in the shadow of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. So what is seppi's response to hand virus and what is on the research of Troy noise pollution for epidemic preparedness Innovations was established by global Public Health authorities, Jeremy play important role with others in in setting up in was funded by number of philanthropic organizations in San Fran countries,

for exactly this kind of event. It was set up to develop vaccines against diseases like Ebola, let me know about and to be prepared for the next unknown disease the next epidemic so that we could respond rapidly Sol. Seppy is focused exclusively on vaccines and we have been working very aggressively over the last couple of weeks to assess the situation first to try to make determination. About what steps are appropriate and as the epidemiologic situation has unfolded our sense of what we need to do

has become more clear in our sense that we need to move faster and farther. Perhaps has also become more clear. I am today we can announce. In fact, this is the first time that we've announced this of three Partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus to with partners that sepe already works with one a company called Inovio that will manufacture a DNA vaccine a second with the University of Queensland. It will manufacture a recombinant

subunit vaccine and the third a new partnership. In fact about when we contemplated for quite a long time with moderna and with the u.s. National Institute for allergy and infectious diseases to develop an mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Our hope is to have these vaccines developed very rapidly and to move them rapidly into human clinical trials perhaps as early as the summer and would like to give Chiffon the chance to talk about his program. about this back

good. So thanks again for following me and having the company so they may be safe. You will do so you understand what we're trying to do here some of the lies about technology company based in the US and what to do with the US government's when I itch and we've sippy is to use our technology to help some of the new technology where we inject basically instruction into humans for humans to make their own medicine using your own Machinery of yourselves to make your own protein that has medicine the company currently has 16

clinical trials around the world including we've global company like Miracle MSD on the side of the world AstraZeneca oncology in genetic disease unit 2 immune disease. And of course to pick up today infectious disease vaccine so far. We have stopped at 9 clinical studies around the world going to choose his vaccines. We have those moving a thousand people and viruses that cause a pandemic flu viruses h27 is Venus, which M ppprk fast response is at M&T is a platform. And it provides the

potential for two benefits When is efficacy because if you think about it by using the human cells to make the protein of a virus which is how a vaccine mechanism works with a swing to mimic a natural infection that we were out getting the virus. The second piece of course is manufacturing. If you got traditional vaccine Technologies, they take a lot of time to develop because every product is unique because we have an information-based molecule messenger RNA to use for a flu vaccine that have already been in the clinic or zika vaccine that we are

u.s. Agency all the project that we're working on for this new virus to get a cookie clicker grade material that you can sell cucuta clinical trial. So if you think about the company number one focusing vaccine, of course is to develop commercial vaccine for viruses for which there is no vaccine on the market to be on a good example is CMV citomegalovirus, which is now in phase two are in the US that say one of our product for very important that birth defect and so what you've always wanted since we started this company to see because it's a platformer and because of what I described as

potential benefits, it would be a very nice tool for emerging pathogens. And so we always talk now since we saw the company we've government agency like bother what you thought of a health in the US or Department of Defense looks upon the ship for Gates Foundation and we're very close please today and honored to be partnering with CP to join forces and silver project here is we're playing the technology to help and so the design of vaccine has been done over the last few weeks at the NIH in the us

because we have access to the sequence of a virus. As Jeremy said, do you have a very important information to start making a product without that? You cannot do that? The timeline on this because this is an undeveloped has never been done before trying to go so fast, it'll be done before we have done 9 vaccine the clinic but we have never done is on a compressed time. That's well. Do we know which is why we need to work together you guys go Batman t-shirt thinkorswim the design because you have great expertise them. What we are doing is

going to make the product quality clinical grade material with thanks. It was supposed to say piece a piece of you spending this and I will have to give it as a kudos to visit the organization because I reached out to reach out on Monday and I don't think you of your government was in place of formulas time, you can go for mediation. And so and then we would provide this material to V NIH who will be running the clinical study. Okay, the tree of you I will collect three questions, please introduce yourself and give us a short chat questions. Thank u q

u Michigan stats in position of travel restrictions might not work because people might still try to find ways to go out and eat in of the city. Is it because that one is so large. It has more than 10 million residents that the measures of Effectiveness might decrease and because such measures on Citrus City of such large-scale has never been imposed is do you think there's any historical precedents that we can that way I can use and other cities who has been shut down can use Ensure that public Panic won't escalate and

we have enough resources in Necessities to provide to the people. Thank you to the next question from this gentleman. I'll call you upon their shapes to develop of the vaccines which is of enormous importance to the trans people right now. How confident are you you are going to start a humidifier in summer explicit timeline on this. How confident are you that stupid question and answer? This is Frank Ocean as well enough to know is there any risk of the show me transmission due to

the block on 13th? And I need to look at that as well. Thank you. I think we'll start with the travel restrictions and historical experience of baby actually hear your topic that we looked at intensively. It's part of my own background also helped the US develop its National endemic preparedness plan, 2005 and 2006 and the stimulus for that was Avian Influenza H5 in one at the flu that had a very high mortality rate in and we faced it prosper. At that time of

fixing a virus with a high mortality rate when we had no other control interventions into the only in in such circumstances truly. The only thing that you have are non-pharmaceutical interventions, including travel restrictions, but also including canceling Mass Gatherings and closing transit systems and closing schools. At that time we devised a we looked at how could you have those interventions implemented in a way that maximize their benefit and minimize the cost and we

developed a approach that we can talk Community mitigation interventions in mcdc published guidance on this several years ago. They're there is a literature which I would certainly encourage Chinese authorities to evaluate and review and certainly would be happy to talk with them about that other. That's not my current job. I do think one thing that's important to understand is it when you don't have treatments and you don't have vaccines non-pharmaceutical interventions are literally the only thing that you have and it's a combination of isolation

containment infection prevention and control in the social distancing interventions. There is historical precedent for their use. We looked intensively didn't Analysis of the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions in US cities during 1918 and what we found was the cities that introduced multiple interventions early in an epidemic had much better outcomes. And the challenge of course is it's very difficult to sustain these interventions because they impose enormous costs and I also can produce enormous anxiety among the affected

population. It is actually the reason why it's so important to move quickly to develop things like that scenes. Thank you Richard. I think the question from Singapore is what are some of the efforts with China on this? How are you collaborating China members of my staff do have through their their personal Professional Network many of them come out of a biotech and pharmaceutical back when we do have connections with Chinese companies and and with public-sector officials. Dr. George Kao new to all of you who knows a Chinese

environment of China CDC. In fact serve don't seppi's a scientific advisory committee. We have reached out. We are in discussions, but those discussions are not as mature as the Partnerships that I know it's today. Okay, we can take a couple more questions very quickly on the timelines that I mentioned is of potentially getting the vaccine into clinical trials in December. The Patchy from niaid also mentioned that timeline with respect to the moderna program only depend on the on the development programs going. Well. I eat I

think they are our best estimate of how quickly we could feasibly get there. If we don't encounter Roblox, he will also be very important for our regulatory Partners to work with us and to help us understand what exactly is required before we can move back scenes in the clinical trials. The advantage of the of the platform Technologies is that they have been in with the same platform different vaccines the same platform have already been in humans supposed for moderna and for an o v o r us one of our other partners, so we think that will expedite the ability to move season.

clinical trials Yes, I just added just stressful. And how concerned are you with Chinese New Year on the way and what other what else if you were advising China what else what other precautions could they take office as well and has learned from stars, but what else could trying to do and lastly and why is this particular infection causing so much pain? next question So yesterday the phone in 48 cases of weight 202. Would you find a severe of critical

which is actually about a quarter. So coming back to the house we know how to tell which is what we're looking at up to 25% If we seen that we know that he will take a long time days not weeks to a pathogen environment in the middle of winter with a considerable as a pathogens and we wouldn't I'm just trying to understand the dimension and not wanting to downplay or other. Is Richard said when you're in the circumstances and you do not have a drug specific? Can you do not have vaccines? You'll Reliance on traffic Public Health measures

and what that means is a hand-washing and social distancing and yes restriction travel where it's appropriate mosques and the reducing effective is buy you some time to do the other things that are going on including the development. But if I'm getting ready for something like this release in saws 18 years ago and left really deep scars on on the Pacific Ocean and Toronto systems and anavar is coming close to humans passing between humans. And of course the world is to know about that and inevitably

You don't we don't want to overstate the Panic here because there is so much uncertainty and we want to keep us out of Cam motivated approach to it. But we do have to take this incredibly seriously because you don't often get a animal virus coming to humans policy between humans and being spread by the respiratory Route 9 many of us would have been so this is just a general statement that the people that seek Hospital cat that the people that seek intensive care and that usually dominates you're

ready. You can't tell for some weeks actually until you see the full spectrum of illness quite how severe the spectrum is another moment. We're in that period of uncertainty of the people will be dying. We don't know what that really means in terms of the denomination the population that has the infection how many severe and how many are dying? I'm a good old gas, but it would be a gas is Richard said earlier. So we sort of have to live in the moment without degree of uncertainty and don't be intimidated by it.

I would like to thank all three speakers and expose for joining us today and the issue briefing room. Thank you very much for joining us today.

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