July 5, 2018

Dr. Ralph Baric

Dr. Ralph Baric

A model platform for an academic-corporate partnership, Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Carolina are teaming up to save lives. The biopharmaceutical company sought the resources and talents of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Baric Lab in the development of treatments with the power to control outbreaks of disease.

Ralph Baric, PhD, head of the lab and professor of epidemiology, has pioneered rapid-response approaches for the study of emerging viruses and the development of therapeutics. The lab was a natural fit when it came time to test a treatment with promise to work against multiple coronaviruses, a family of viruses that primarily infect the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. The treatment is a broad-spectrum antiviral — it works against a large variety of viral pathogens — and is a potential key to pandemic preparedness.

Select the image to watch a video featuring the researchers behind this public health breakthrough.

Select the image to watch a video featuring the researchers behind this public health breakthrough.

The increasing interconnectedness of our world makes it easy for sick people in seemingly remote areas to spread emerging viral diseases throughout the globe. The Gilead broad-spectrum treatment that was tested and proven in the Baric Lab, now known as Remdesivir, has been deployed for use in the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not only does the drug have potential to save lives there, but all efficacy and safety results will inform treatments for other coronaviruses.

Imagine: One drug with the potential to treat MERS, SARS, Ebola and even the common cold. At Carolina and the Gillings School, researchers are imagining — and enabling — just that.

This story originally was posted by UNC Research.


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Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@listserv.unc.edu.

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