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CEO Paul Perreault at the 2021 STAT Summit: “We have clearly seen the benefits of an investment in science, business, industry, academia and governments.”

Leaders in science convened to discuss the most pressing topics in biotech, medicine and policy at the 2021 STAT Summit.

CSL CEO Paul Perreault speaks at the STAT Summit

CSL Limited CEO Paul Perreault delivered closing remarks at Thursday’s STAT Summit, saying that the unprecedented collaboration in the fight against COVID-19 must continue. Science, business, industry, academia and governments should keep working together to “make breakthroughs in other areas, with the aim of advancing new medicines to support human health,” he said.

The mostly virtual event gathered 300+ leaders in health care and science and featured some of the leading voices in the fight against COVID-19, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and the heads of both Pfizer and Moderna. This year's theme was: “Charting a course for medicine's future.” STAT, which launched in 2015, is a Boston-based news hub for biotech, science and health care.

In his remarks, Perreault highlighted CSL’s major projects and the $1 billion investment it made in R&D in 2021, a record high for the company. CSL, the world’s third largest biotech company, specializes in rare and serious diseases as well as influenza prevention. Perreault touched on the company’s contributions related to COVID-19 and these initiatives:

  • its ongoing research into a potential gene therapy for hemophilia B
  • the clinical trial underway to assess a potential treatment that could reduce the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events following a heart attack
  • new directions in flu vaccines, including a first-of-its-kind adjuvanted, cell-based seasonal influenza vaccine as well as next-generation self-amplifying mRNA for seasonal and pandemic influenza, known as self-amplifying messenger RNA (sa-mRNA).

The three-day STAT Summit was a window into the productivity and collaboration that is ongoing throughout the scientific community, he said. Perreault found the conversation among participants inspiring and said he remains confident science and innovation will lead us out of the pandemic.

In other news from the summit, Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told attendees that the three-shot vaccine should be standard. Following this guidance will help the United States get through the winter, he said.

Perreault ended his remarks with a call to action for the scientific community.

"A crisis breeds trailblazers and ingenuity, and the acceleration of solutions to treat and prevent COVID-19 has been truly inspirational,” he said. “We must work together to make sure that all of us in the ecosystem are driving the success of the future health and well-being of all human beings.”

Also at the STAT Summit, MIT Professor Nancy Hopkins received the 2021 Biomedical Research Innovation Award for her work in molecular biology and for her role in advancing gender equity. In another tribute to scientists, STAT named its 2021 Wunderkinds, described as “the next generation of scientific superstars.”