Avast News

Video: Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek interviews Brad Wilken of the Gates Foundation

Grace Macej, 18 March 2021

Our Executive Interview Series continues with a closer look at the team working on an oral cure for Covid-19

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator (CTA) is an organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation that focuses on advancing research into accessible coronavirus treatments. While the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are being administered to the population, CTA is focusing on oral medicines that will alleviate symptoms in people who have mild to moderate cases of the virus. These oral applications, when approved, will be particularly useful in controlling the virus during those lag times when certain countries need to catch up with others in terms of vaccinated immunity. 

Leading the CTA charge is Brad Wilken, Deputy Director of Product Development Operations at the Gates Foundation. Avast is a proud partner of the Foundation and an avid supporter of CTA. We donated $12 million to the organization because we strongly believe it is doing the good work that the world needs right now. In our newest episode of the Avast Partnership Executive Interview series, Brad discusses CTA’s story and accomplishments with Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek. 

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator was launched last year with support from the Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Mastercard, Avast, and others. Based in Seattle, the initiative raised $300 million fairly quickly, which it immediately poured into clinical trials, diagnostics, manufacturing, and virus tracking. In our interview, Brad tells Ondrej about the progress CTA has made so far, and where it is heading over the next few months. 

One of CTA’s prime directives is to keep as many patients as possible out of the hospital. It does this by supporting the development of medicine to treat mild to moderate manifestations of the virus. That way, it leaves the hospitals with enough vacancies to treat the severe cases. Another CTA directive is to focus on helping “lower resource settings,” or third-world countries. As the higher-income nations roll out their vaccinations, CTA dedicates itself to strategizing what the poorer nations need to stay as protected as possible. 

Will Covid-19 and its variants become an annual threat like the flu? Will we need to get vaccinations yearly to stay protected from it? Brad addresses these questions and more in the latest episode of our Avast Partnership Executive Interview series. Don’t miss it!