2019 Councilor Candidate
Jean Lang, MD, PhD, FASTMH
Sanofi Pasteur, France
Educated by the public sector as an MD, PhD, I have been a vaccine developer and public health partner within the R&D private sector for 30 years. During these years, I have been continuously working across the continuum from applied research to post-licensure implementation of Global Health (GH) biologicals in Africa (antivenoms), Southeast Asia (rabies, Japanese encephalitis, dengue), and in Latin America (yellow fever, dengue).
I am entering now another phase of my professional life where I strive to give back the experience acquired in these diverse contexts and particularly at ASTMH.
My current passion and professional focus is to strengthen global Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to help prevent and control infectious diseases. This is illustrated by my sustained contributions towards Epidemic Preparedness & Response (EPR) and Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR).
One of my objectives would be to propose a Coalition of Interests between the scientific and medical private and public R&D sectors, something that could help foster better connectivity and collaborations in the wide-ranging areas of tropical medicine and global health. Of course we need to respect the specificity of each sector in terms of benefits/risks and I want to commit to joint actions to enhance the capabilities of our Society. As a potential ASTMH Councilor, I will continuously work to build bridges with a diverse range of international public and private partners and philanthropic stakeholders to bring the best networks and people within these organizations. Sitting together at the same table, our Society will have a better influence and impact to help solve collectively our global health agenda questions and challenges in tropical infectious diseases medicine.
I rely strongly on open innovation, data sharing and cross-functional teamwork. I do believe that the preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic areas need not to be firewalled, but rather very collaborative and connected. Through my current presence in Europe, I will develop and sustain a productive dialogue with European/LMICs members and encourage them to share and learn in this premium ecosystem for global health and tropical medicine.
I welcome the addition of more early-career members as future Councilors. By sharing some of the scientific and leadership lessons I/we have learned, we might attract, develop and retain early-career members through relevant mentoring initiatives which I pledge to develop.
I will also commit to add further advocacy perspectives for adoption of evidence-based policies and funding that promote global health/ASTMH priorities by mobilizing my international networks (see below biography) particularly those situated in my European footprint, an area that represents potential growth for the Society.
Fueled by the diversity of my experiences and these networks, my personal Councilor team objective would be to contribute with unified voices to the ASTMH sustainable impact.
Summary of Volunteer/Member Roles in ASTMH
I have maintained continuous ASTMH membership since 1999. As an engaged member I have participated actively in the ASTMH Annual Meeting almost every year and in ACAV meetings occasionally. These meetings are always an excellent gathering to develop and maintain scientific networks, to meet and interact with experts, and to help develop actionable plans for addressing those important aspects of tropical medicine and global health that we all recognize as being important.
For the last 20 years, the ASTMH Annual Meetings and U.S. Stakeholders have educated me in the fields of tropical medicine and global health through scientific exposure to meetings and ad-hoc mentoring. The ASTMH has guided my early steps in the innovative field of dengue science (1999-2015) where I committed to give each year abstracts/workshops on the progress of our vaccine and meet all relevant scientists who openly shared their experiences, challenges, and counselling in this field, shaping our road to licensure of the first dengue vaccine in LMICs. I have thus organized and presented in several symposia and presented multiple abstracts at our Annual Meeting over the last two decades, mainly on flavivirus vaccines.
I was grateful to receive a Fellowship (FASTMH) in 2015 and in 2018, I was appointed to the Scientific Program Committee in the Global Health section.
If I am selected to be a member of the Council, it will therefore provide further opportunities to give back the expertise and experiences I received from our peers and leaders to the current and next generation of ASTMH members (e.g. mentoring). I bring a diverse set of experiences and expertise and a passion for tropical medicine and global health. As such, I would be honored to serve the Society as a Councilor.
Jean Lang was awarded his MD (1983) and PhD in Human Biology, Pharmacology (1987) by the Lyon I University, France. He started his Research and Development (R&D) Career within the Pharmaceutical Industry in 1988 before joining Sanofi Pasteur R&D in 1991. Starting with antivenoms, rabies and yellow fever projects, he then contributed to the licensure of the first chimeric live attenuated Japanese encephalitis vaccine in 2012. He participated to the SARS Vaccine partnered with US NIH in 2004 and the West Nile vaccine U.S. epidemic responses in 2006.
From 1995 to 2014 his main R&D focus was Dengue, first in 1995 with a live attenuated vaccine from the Mahidol University, Thailand, and then in 2001 the YFV/Chimera YF17D Dengue tetravalent vaccine partnered with Acambis. He led a cross-functional expert team of analytical scientists, virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, clinical developers, industrial manufacturing experts and regulatory affairs specialists. In this endeavor he contributed to establish ~50 R&D partnerships with public health and academic laboratories on Dengue diseases, with particular emphasis on understanding and responding to vaccine development challenges. He worked with 15 countries/multiple clinical trial sites of Latin America and Asia, leading the end to end epidemiology to Phase III efficacy trials process during 10 years. He established the first Phase IIb efficacy trial in Thailand with the critical partnership of the Mahidol University. Teaming with Asia and Latin America scientists, his key R&D principles were capacity building and knowledge transfer. Since 1999 this public and private dengue team has published >200 scientific peer-reviewed papers, 16 in major impact Journals. Dengue vaccine dossier filings were done in Asia and Latin America first and 20 Licensures were obtained by 2018.
Since 2014 he has led a variety of R&D-focused Public Private Global Health driven projects (e.g., HIV Malaria, ETEC, Zika, rabies, and yellow fever). He co-leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine Discovery Partnerships, a joint R&D Alliance with the Gates Foundation since 2014. He maintains regular contact with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development and the U.S. Department of Defense.
For Epidemic Preparedness and Response, he is working with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) where he sits as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee. He also interacts with PATH and in Europe with the Wellcome Trust, the European Research Infrastructure on Highly Pathogenic Agents (ERINHA) and the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GLOPID-R). He regularly contributed to the World Health Organization as an industry representative in various R&D committees. He is the Infectious Control Innovative Medicines Innovation (IMI) Industry Acting Strategic Lead and co-chair since 2016. He was associated with a European Developing Country Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP) on a Malaria Vaccine and contributes to the Horizon 2020 European HIV Vaccine Alliance consortium for the HIV vaccine candidate. A UK vaccine network member and accredited European Commission Expert, he has authored or co-authored ~160 scientific peer-reviewed papers and abstracts.