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Global Virus Network (GVN) Announces Seven Distinguished International Appointments to Board of Directors

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Global Virus Network (GVN) Announces Seven Distinguished  International Appointments to Board of Directors

World leaders in business & science are committed to supporting the GVN

Baltimore, MD (March 22, 2017) – The Global Virus Network (GVN), a coalition of the world’s leading medical virology research centers working together to prevent illness and death from viral disease, today announced the addition of seven distinguished global leaders to its Board of Directors, including Lawrence Blatt, PhD, Global Head of Infectious Diseases, Jansen Pharmaceuticals and President and CEO, Alios Biopharma; Peter Palese, PhD, Horace W. Goldsmith Professor and Chair Department of Microbiology, Professor, Department of Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Pierluigi Petrone, CEO, Petrone Group; Guangqi Tian, President, Sino Invest Group Limited; Guy Vernet, PhD, Scientific Director, Fondation Mérieux; Danny Wong, Founder and Chairman, Medisun and Chairman, Beijing Financial Group Limited; and, Koichi Yamanishi, MD, Director General, Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University (Biken). The announcement was made today by Robert Gallo, MD, Co-founder and Director, Global Virus Network (GVN) and Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Director, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence.

“GVN will benefit greatly with each new Board members’ expertise and tremendous success in leading prosperous organizations and ventures around the globe,” said Robert Gallo, MD, who is world renowned for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS and development of the HIV blood test. “We look forward to working with our new and current board members as we expand GVN’s collaborations with government entities, the public and private sectors, and most recently with the pharmaceutical industry to advance biomedical research and train the next generation of medical virologists while addressing the world’s most pressing viral threats, such as Zika, Ebola, influenza, and HIV to name a few.”

“I am pleased and honored to be joining the GVN Board, whose mission to address global public health threats relating to established and emerging viruses, is well aligned to my personal goals and aspirations,” said Lawrence Blatt, PhD, Global Head of Infectious Diseases, Jansen Pharmaceuticals and President and CEO, Alios Biopharma both in San Francisco, CA, USA.  “Viral infections account for significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world and the GVN is establishing a worldwide community to facilitate cooperation among physicians, scientists and healthcare workers.” Dr. Blatt has spent the last 30 years working in drug research and development with a specific focus on biology of the immune system, antiviral therapies and relevant therapeutic interventions including among other discoveries the development of Danoprevir®, an HCV protease inhibitor, in partnership with Roche.

“The question regarding novel emerging viral pathogens is not if – but when,” said Peter Palese, PhD, Horace W. Goldsmith Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology, Professor, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY, USA.  Dr. Palese’s groundbreaking research includes designing the next-generation of flu vaccines that provoke a more robust and durable immune response to a wide variety of influenza viruses – a feat that aims to produce a broadly protective universal vaccine that not only saves lives but eliminates the need for annual revaccination and associated costs.  Dr. Palese is also Director of the GVN Center of Excellence at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine (IOM).

 

“I am proud and happy to join this interesting and motivating Board of Directors,” said Pierluigi Petrone, CEO, Petrone Group, a Naples, Italy holding company of approximately 30 firms operating in the pharmaceutical and health sectors.  “I will try to liaise scientific evidences with manufacturing processes, allowing pharmaceutical companies to approach new useful products to move forward against dangerous and undiscovered infections worldwide.”  Mr. Petrone is also Chairman of STM Group Logistica Integrata and a Business Relation Officer of Pierrel S.p.A which collectively encompass the life science, biopharma and pharmaceutical industries.

“As basic biomedical and behavioral research make it possible to more accurately characterize the causes of viral disease onset and progression,  I am honored to serve the GVN with all my knowledge and energy to accelerate the process of scientific discovery and research to development and optimization of therapeutics to test in human trials, ultimately, to the application of the approved therapy, device, or diagnostic in the real world,” said Guangqi Tian, President, Sino Invest Group Limited.  Mr. Tian founded multiple companies in cities in China including Harbin, Tianjin, and Beijing since 2005 and owns businesses in Beijing, Tianjin, Hong Kong, U.S., Panama, and Dubai which include international trade and investment.

“I am convinced that it is only by gathering experts and leaders from different disciplines, from the public and private sectors, in networks like the GVN that we will defeat deadly viral diseases,” said Guy Vernet, PhD, Fondation Mérieux, USA.  “Laboratories and diagnostics are key components of public health response to epidemic infectious diseases, especially in resource-limited, tropical countries and I am honored to have a chance to contribute, with my experience in this domain, to the objectives of the GVN.” Dr. Vernet has been Director General of the Pasteur Institute in Yaoundé, Cameroon and Scientific Director of Fondation Mérieux in Lyon, France. He previously held several positions within the R&D Department of bioMérieux, and led many research projects with the goal to improve the diagnosis of major human pathologies, particularly HIV infection, hepatitis and tuberculosis.

“Today’s rapid spread of viral diseases in the world endangers human health, and it is critical to pull together all the resources we have to reduce and eliminate the threat by conducting more cutting edge R&D and translational medicine,” said Danny Wong, Founder and Chairman, Medisun and Chairman, Beijing Financial Group Limited.  “I am thrilled to join the GVN alongside others to tackle this issue.”  Mr. Wong has over 20 years of experience in investment including successfully launching dozens of high-tech companies in Hong Kong and founding the first venture capital company in China.

“I am pleased to join the GVN Board of Directors and advance the mission of the GVN in its efforts to combat viral threats,” said Koichi Yamanishi, MD, Director General, Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University (Biken) in Osaka, Japan. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in Japan and Asia to expand collaborative efforts established during GVN’s annual meeting held in Sapporo last fall.”  Dr. Yamanishi’s laboratory studies includes novel advances in both human herpes virus (HHV) research, especially HHV-6, and varicella zoster virus.

 

While new Board members will advise the GVN on many issues, they will also lead efforts in their areas of expertise.  Dr. Lawrence Blatt will garner business, financial and scientific support for viral therapies; Dr. Peter Palese will garner business, financial and scientific support in influenza initiatives, in addition to his responsibilities as a GVN Center of Excellence Director; Mr. Pierluigi Petrone will garner business and financial support from manufacturers globally; Mr. Guangqi Tian will garner business, financial and scientific support in China; Dr. Guy Vernet will garner business, financial and scientific support for diagnosis of viral diseases globally and especially resource-limited countries; Mr. Danny Wong will garner business, financial and scientific support in Asia; and, Dr. Koichi Yamanishi will cultivate business, financial and scientific relationships in Japan and Asia.

Gilead Sciences Awards $148K to the Global Virus Network (GVN) to Combat Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Remote Regions of India The pilot study will build specific training models to test, link and treat specialized HCV patient populations in high prevalence regions of India

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Gilead Sciences Awards $148K to the Global Virus Network (GVN) to Combat Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Remote Regions of India

The pilot study will build specific training models to test, link and treat specialized HCV patient populations in high prevalence regions of India

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, March 1, 2017: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 38 Centers of Excellence and six affiliates in 25 countries and comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, was awarded $148,000 by Gilead Sciences, Inc. to develop and implement a sustainable program for testing, treating and linking to care hard to reach patient populations in India. The announcement was made today by Robert C. Gallo, MD, Co-Founder, Scientific Director, GVN, The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Director, Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence, and Shyamasundaran Kottilil, MBBS, PhD, who will lead this study and is Professor of Medicine, Co-Director, Clinical Research Unit, Associate Director for Clinical Research, IHV.

“We are grateful to Gilead for their continued leadership in, among other efforts, making medication and affordable healthcare a priority around the world, and in this particular case with escalation of novel hepatitis C virus treatment in India,” said Dr. Robert Gallo, who is renowned for his co-discovery of HIV as the cause of AIDS and development of the HIV blood test. “Dr. Kottilil is a leader in the field who can take on challenging variables and successfully bring effective, sustainable healthcare and treatment models to low resource communities around the globe.”

The proposed study utilizes a model of building local capacity through high-level clinical mentoring to 80 physicians who are then responsible for mentoring more than 500 healthcare workers throughout the country to significantly decrease HCV prevalence. The project focuses on building specific training for specialized populations including patients with injection drug use and community clinic patients as well as considerations in varying settings such as urban versus rural.

“The purpose of this program is to develop an HCV training model for medical providers in India that can be duplicated and applied to other areas within South Asia,” said Dr. Kottilil. “Generic medications for the treatment of hepatitis C are already available and approved to use in India.”

“We are pleased to support the Global Virus Network, an organization that shares our goal of addressing the world’s biggest health challenges,” said Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Medical Affairs.  “In India, the majority of the population lives in rural areas where hepatitis screening is limited. This initiative will support education efforts that will help increase routine hepatitis C screening, which is essential to slowing and ultimately ending the epidemic in India.”

In the past couple of years, oral, interferon-free, directing agents (DAAs) have emerged resulting in an effective HCV cure.  At this time, only a few providers worldwide have experience in the management of HCV with interferon/ribavirin, and there are no infectious disease specialists in India with experience using the DAAs.

“Despite high HCV disease burden in many parts of Asia, no studies exist, to date documenting diagnostic and treatment outcomes of DAAs such as sofosbuvir in a real-world context in this region said Dr. Kottilil. “We are pleased to partner with our colleagues in India to accelerate HCV care continuum. On paper, we can rid the world of HCV but to do so, we must innovate proven, effective community driven outreach models that educate, test, treat and link to care the most vulnerable populations like those we are reaching through this grant.”

Global Virus Network Adds Tulane University School of Medicine as Newest Center of Excellence

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Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Atlanta, GA, USA, Oct. 19, 2016: The Global Virus Network (GVN) and Tulane University School of Medicine announced today the induction of Tulane as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. The GVN represents 38 Centers of Excellence and six affiliates in 25 countries and comprises foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans.

The announcement was made by Robert Gallo, MD, co-founder and scientific director of GVN and Robert Garry, PhD, professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, assistant dean, Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences, program manager, Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, Tulane University School of Medicine. Garry will be director of Tulane’s GVN Center of Excellence.

The new Tulane GVN Center of Excellence focuses on a number of aspects of viral pathogenesis. Tulane also leads the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC), a public-private partnership of scientists who are developing countermeasures, including diagnostics, immunotherapeutics and vaccines, against Lassa virus, Ebola and Marburg viruses, flaviviruses (including Zika virus) and several other high consequence pathogens.

“Given their breadth and deep expertise in viruses, particularly hemorrhagic viruses, Tulane will be an excellent resource for the GVN,” said Gallo, who is co-discoverer of HIV and The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “Bob Garry’s ability to establish successful public-private partnerships, such as the VHFC, to help bring lab research to the clinic, particularly in the field of diagnostics, will be a tremendous boost to the GVN.”

“We look forward to joining the GVN so that we can better foster infrastructure development, research, training and education on detection, prevention, amelioration, and treatment of viral hemorrhagic fever viruses targeting both the scientific and general communities,” says Garry. “We have a significant presence in West Africa and are pleased to extend our global reach through the GVN.”

The VHFC is a collaboration between Tulane, Scripps Research Institute (a GVN Center of Excellence), Harvard University/Broad Institute, University of Texas Medical Branch (a GVN Center of Excellence), Autoimmune Technologies LLC, Kenema Government Hospital (Sierra Leone), Redeemers University and the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (Nigeria), Zalgen Labs, LLC, and various other partners in West Africa.

The GVN is a global authority and resource for the identification and investigation, interpretation and explanation, control and suppression, of viral diseases posing threats to mankind. It enhances the international capacity for reactive, proactive and interactive activities that address mankind-threatening viruses and addresses a global need for coordinated virology training, developing scholarly exchange programs for recruiting and training young scientists in medical virology. The GVN also serves as a resource to governments and international organizations seeking advice about viral disease threats, prevention or response strategies and GVN advocates for research and training on virus infections and their many disease manifestations.

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of leading medical virologists from 25 countries. The GVN’s mission is to combat current and emerging pandemic viral threats through international collaborative research, training the next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

About Tulane University School of Medicine

One of the nation’s most recognized centers for medical education, Tulane University School of Medicine is a vibrant center for education, research and public service. Tulane School of Medicine is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest medical school in the United States. Tulane School of Medicine recruits top faculty, researchers and students from around the world, and pushes the boundaries of medicine with groundbreaking medical research and surgical advances. Tulane remains in the forefront of modern medical innovation and is equipping the next generation of medical professionals with the tools to succeed in the rapidly changing future of health care.

Global Virus Network Adds International Vaccine Institute (IVI)

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Global Virus Network Adds International Vaccine Institute (IVI)

as Newest Center of Excellence

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, August 8, 2016: The Global Virus Network (GVN), representing 36 Centers of Excellence and 6 Affiliates in 25 countries and comprising foremost experts in every class of virus causing disease in humans, and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) announced today the induction of IVI as GVN’s newest Center of Excellence. IVI is headquartered on the campus of Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea. The announcement was made by Robert Gallo, MD, Co-Founder and Scientific Director of GVN and Jerome Kim, MD, Director General of IVI. IVI is the first organization in Korea to become a GVN Center of Excellence.

“IVI, with Dr. Jerome Kim at the helm, brings to the GVN an array of viral expertise, including HIV, Dengue, MERS-CoV and hepatitis E as well as a significant global reach with its field sites in nearly 30 countries in Asia, Africa and South America,” said Dr. Gallo, who is co-discoverer of HIV and Director of the Institute (IHV) of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, a GVN Center of Excellence. “GVN is very pleased to welcome IVI into the network and looks forward to officially introducing IVI to GVN’s Centers of Excellence at our upcoming international meeting in Japan this fall.”

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is an international nonprofit organization that was founded on the belief that the health of children in developing countries can be dramatically improved by the use of new and improved vaccines. Working in collaboration with the international scientific community, public health organizations, governments, and industry, IVI is involved in all areas of the vaccine spectrum – from new vaccine design in the laboratory to vaccine development and evaluation in the field to facilitating sustainable introduction of vaccines in countries where they are most needed.

“IVI wishes to gain opportunities in information-sharing and collaborations on research and training initiatives with GVN members,” said Dr. Kim. “We especially look forward to participating in scientific exchanges, and fellows and training programs.”

The GVN is a global authority and resource for the identification and investigation, interpretation and explanation, control and suppression, of viral diseases posing threats to mankind. It enhances the international capacity for reactive, proactive and interactive activities that address mankind-threatening viruses and addresses a global need for coordinated virology training, developing scholarly exchange programs for recruiting and training young scientists in medical virology. The GVN also serves as a resource to governments and international organizations seeking advice about viral disease threats, prevention or response strategies and GVN advocates for research and training on virus infections and their many disease manifestations.

About the Global Virus Network (GVN)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, comprised of leading medical virologists from 25 countries. The GVN’s mission is to combat current and emerging pandemic viral threats through international collaborative research, training the next generation of medical virologists, and advocacy. For more information, please visit www.gvn.org. Follow us on Twitter @GlobalVirusNews

 

About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)

 

The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is the world’s only international organization devoted exclusively to developing and introducing new and improved vaccines to protect the world’s poorest people, especially children in developing countries. Established in 1997, IVI operates as an independent international organization under a treaty signed by 35 countries and the World Health Organization. The Institute conducts research in more than 20 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America on vaccines against enteric and diarrheal infections, Japanese encephalitis, MERS-CoV, and dengue fever, and develops new and improved vaccines at its headquarters in Seoul, Republic of Korea. For more information, please visit http://www.ivi.int.

GVN Symposium on the Global Spread of Chikungunya

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GVN Symposium on the Global Spread of Chikungunya

On November 5, GVN and its partner, ASTMH, convened a special symposium on “The Global Spread of Chikungunya: Epidemiology, Evolution, Pathogenesis and Global Needs” at the annual ASTMH meeting in New Orleans.  All three of GVN’s Task Force Chairs on Chikungunya spoke at the session, which was organized by Dr. Scott Weaver of UTMB, one of the co-chairs.  Other co-chairs are Dr. Marc Lecuit, Pasteur Institute, France, and Dr. John Fazakerley, Pirbright Institute, UK.  Click here for the full agenda.