"Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional."
The Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center (GPPBC or “the Center”) will help prevent future outbreaks from becoming pandemics by developing a stockpile of human monoclonal antibodies in advance for emerging infectious diseases, and by integrating antibody distribution and delivery across the global health and pandemic prevention ecosystem.
It's hard to overstate the impact that COVID-19 has had on the world. More than three million people are dead. In the United States, the impacts and loss of life were felt disproportionately in Black, brown, and Indigenous communities. Job losses or reduced working hours due to the impact of the pandemic cost the world the equivalent of 255 million jobs in 2020, nearly four times the number lost during the 2009 global financial crisis.
Explore worldwide COVID statistics below.
It’s a pandemic that changed life as we know it—and its effects will likely be felt for generations.
Undoubtedly, the U.S. and the world will face future infections with pandemic potential. While COVID-19 was a once-in-a-generation pandemic, there have also been a number of other high profile diseases and infections that have emerged over the past 20 years, including: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Swine Flu, MERS, Zika, and the Ebola virus. These diseases together have contributed to over $100 billion in economic losses.
pandemics since 1900.
in economic losses
It's not a question of if the next pandemic hits. It's a question of when—and whether we'll be prepared.
Imagine a world where scientists and medical providers have the tools to prepare for the next outbreak before it happens. Imagine a stockpile of rapidly deployable solutions to respond to pandemic threats the moment there's an outbreak to forestall loss of life and economic upheaval. Imagine an alignment of society, policy, and innovation so that we can make the big ideas of now the bold solutions of tomorrow. Imagine a deep and wide partnership between government, private industry, academia, and the community to finally get in front of global outbreaks with an integrated approach.
What is urgently needed is one cross-sector entity with the scale, resources, and talent to ensure the initiatives of all pandemic prevention stakeholders are coordinated to deliver maximum impact. Additionally, we need one body that can help accelerate the production and stockpiling of life-saving therapeutics and diagnostics, while improving surveillance and monitoring capabilities to help prevent and contain future outbreaks.
The Global Pandemic Prevention and Biodefense Center will help prevent outbreaks from becoming pandemics by developing in advance a stockpile of human monoclonal antibodies for emerging infectious diseases, and by integrating antibody development, manufacturing, distribution and delivery across the global health and pandemic prevention ecosystem. The National Capital Region is uniquely positioned to be the host location for this herculean task because it is home to:
life sciences companies
government agencies: FDA, NIH/NIAID, ASPR/BARDA, DARPA
seat of policy & political power
worldwide embassies & diplomatic missions
The flagship lead initiative of the Center will be AHEAD100. This ambitious, medical countermeasures program aims to develop and stockpile monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for the world's top 100 pathogens across 25 pathogen families most likely to cause pandemics. The availability of this stockpile fills the critical time gap between outbreaks and activated vaccines during which a pandemic can be wholly avoided.
Antibody research is among the most critical components of pandemic response. Antibodies are proven to provide prophylactic, post-exposure, and therapeutic benefits. Additionally, they can be used effectively to protect vulnerable populations and frontline healthcare workers while complementing vaccine solutions.
Learn more about the power of antibodies in the work to prevent pandemics from AHEAD100's chief scientist, Dr. James Crowe and ex-officio Steering Committee member Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad in the 60 Minutes clip below: