COVID-19 and Beyond: A Call for Action and Audacious Solidarity to All the Citizens and Nations, It Is Humanity’s Fight
13 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 18, 2020
Background: SARS-CoV-2 belongs to a subgroup of coronaviruses rampant in bats for centuries. It has caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Most patients recover, but a minority of severe cases experience acute respiratory distress or an inflammatory storm devastating many organs that can lead to patient death. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 has been facilitated by the increasing intensity of air travel, urban congestion and human contact during the last half century. Until therapies and vaccines are available, tests for virus and exposure, confinement measures and physical distancing have helped curb the pandemic.
Vision: The COVID-19 pandemic calls for safeguards and remediation measures through a systemic response. A myriad of self-organizing initiatives by scientists and citizens is developing an advanced collective intelligence response to the coronavirus crisis. Their integration forms Olympiads of Solidarity and Health. Their ability to optimize our response to COVID-19 could serve as a model to trigger a global metamorphosis of our societies with far-reaching consequences for attacking fundamental challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.
Mission: For COVID-19 and these other challenges, there is no alternative but action. Meeting in Paris in 2003, we set out to "rethink research to understand life and improve health." We have now formed an international coalition of academia and industry ecosystems taking a systems medicine approach to understanding COVID-19 by thoroughly characterizing viruses, patients and populations during the pandemic, using openly shared tools. All results will be publicly available with no initial claims for intellectual property rights. This World Alliance for Health and Wellbeing will catalyze the creation of medical and health products such as diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines that become common goods accessible to all, while seeking further alliances with civil society to bridge with socio-ecological and technological approaches that characterise urban systems, for a collective response to future health emergencies.
Funding: This work was supported during its preparation phases by the State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Overseas Expertise Introduction Project for Discipline Innovation (111 Project, B17029) to SJC, LH, CA; European Union grants CASyM (FP7-n°305033) to CA, RB, JR, DR, DS, JT, OW; eTRIKS (IMI-1-n°115446) to CA, RB, YG; PREPARE (FP7n°602525) to CA, PO, SV; and initial funds in support of the deep phenotyping clinical study from philanthropic donors, Gilead, Merck and Novartis to JG, JH, LH; the Ricerca Corrente Program by the Italian Ministry of Health to AC, CPr, GS, AU, VV; the National Megaprojects of China for Infectious Diseases (2017ZX10103009-001, 2018ZX10305409-001-005), Double Firstclass projects from the Ministry of Education to the National Research Center for Translational Medicine Shanghai to SJC; Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Major Project (2017SHZDZX01) to LJ.
Conflict of Interest: Rudi Balling reports being a founder/shareholder of ITTM S.A. and Megeno S.A., outside the submitted work, he is co-inventor and holder of two issued patents; James Heath reports personal fees and other from PACT Pharma, outside the submitted work; Hiroaki Kitano reports grants from Minister of Health, Welfare, and Labor of Japanese Government, grants from Okinawa Prefecture Government, outside the submitted work; Doron Lancet reports personal fees from Weizmann Institute of Science and LifeMap Science Inc., outside the submitted work; Catherine Larue reports personal fees from Genfit, outside the submitted work; Peter Openshaw reports personal fees for consultancy work with Janssen, J&J and Sanofi, grants from MRC, European Union, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, and a collaborative grant with GSK, outside the submitted work; Susanna Palkonen reports grants from Aimmune, Astra Zeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chiesi, DBV Technologies, GSK, Leo Pharma, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi Genzyme, outside the submitted work, is employed by the EFA who receives unrestricted grants from corporate entities as above, represents EFA in the following advisory groups of these entities: Astra Zeneca COPD Advisory Committee, GSK Health Advisory Board and Novartis European Patient Advisory Group, receives no personal gain, honoraria, when applicable expenses are payed to her organization, is in a voluntary function the Chair of the Patient Access Partnership PACT who receives unrestricted grants from EFPIA, MedTech Europe, EUCOPE and Medicines for Europe for core operations, and project grants from individual companies, outside the submitted work; Christophe Pison reports personal fees and non-financial support from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GSK, Novartis, outside the submitted work; Mihael Polymeropulos reports other from Vanda Pharmaceuticals, outside the submitted work; Ulrike Protzer reports grants from VIR Biotechnology, grants and non-financial support from Roche, grants from Alios-J&J, personal fees from Abbvie, Arbutus, Dicerna, Gilead, GSK, MSD, Vaccitech, personal fees from University Hospital Cologne, grants and other from SCG Cell Therapy, outside the submitted work; Peter Sterk reports other from Breathomix BV, outside the submitted work; Giulio Superti-Furga reports being a shareholder of Proxygen GmbH, Haplogen GmbH and Allcyte GmbH, outside the submitted work; Vincenzo Valentini reports personal fees from Merck Serono, Betaglue, outside the submitted work; Sylvie van der Werf reports other from Sanofi Pasteur, outside the submitted work; she is the holder of four issued patents. The other authors have declared no conflict of interest.
Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, pandemic, immune system, inflammation, systems medicine, global healthcare, call for action, international coalition
JEL Classification: I10, I19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation