Skip Sub Menu

Fall 2020 Events

November 4, 2020

Seminar Link

Student Forum Link

John P. Bilello, Ph.D., Director, Biology

Head of Respiratory and Emerging Viruses
Gilead Sciences, Inc.

John Bilello is currently leading the Respiratory and Emerging Viruses group at Gilead Sciences, Inc., focusing on coronavirus antiviral drug discovery in addition to advancing other respiratory virus programs to the clinic.  Prior to coming to Gilead, Dr. Bilello served as a Principal Scientist within the Infectious Diseases department at Merck, West Point, PA. There, he led discovery teams to evaluate HCV preclinical compounds to Phase I; the implementation of novel antiviral programs for respiratory and emerging viruses; and novel vaccine adjuvant discovery activities that resulted in clinical-stage programs and a patent.  Dr. Bilello began his industry career at Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., leading programs and conducting studies on multiple classes of HCV direct antiviral drugs during a fast-paced time prior to an approved therapy.  These collaborative efforts contributed to 9 IND-stage drugs, of which 5 were clinically validated.  His tenure at Idenix also included exploratory programs outside HCV and experience in business development as a scientific advisor.  As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School (Ronald Desrosiers) and Penn State University (Harriet Isom) before that, Dr. Bilello, studied the basic biology and recombinant generation of multiple viruses, including rhesus herpesviruses, SIV, and baculoviruses, among others.  Dr. Bilello received his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Delaware and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology with a virology concentration from Penn State University.  Dr. Bilello also attended two years of classes within a pharmaceutical chemistry program at the University of Florida.

Remdesivir in Response to Global Viral Diseases

Multiple Ebola virus outbreaks and three novel human coronaviruses (CoV) have emerged from zoonotic sources in the last twenty years.  The most recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa began in early 2014 and subsided in December 2015, infecting over 28,000 people with a 40% mortality rate.  Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoV (SARS-CoV) was identified in China (2002) and spread to 27 countries, resulting in 774 deaths among approximately 8000 diagnosed cases. In 2012, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-CoV was isolated in Saudi Arabia and has recurred several times since, causing nearly 2500 deaths with a fatality rate of 35%.  SARS-CoV-2 emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and rapidly spread to pandemic proportions.  The regular emergence of novel zoonotic viruses highlights the need for drugs with broad antiviral activity, such as remdesivir (RDV), that can be employed rapidly as therapeutics to possibly prevent outbreaks from becoming pandemics. RDV was evaluated as a treatment for Ebola and was granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the US FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in the ongoing pandemic.  RDV exhibits broad spectrum antiviral activity not only against coronaviruses and filoviruses, but also against paramyxoviruses, picornaviruses, and pneumoviruses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).  The presentation will summarize former and recent data on RDV preclinical antiviral potency, mechanism of action, resistance, and clinical efficacy.

Friday, November 4, 2020
12:00 - 12:50 p.m.

Further details and registration for the virtual (Zoom) seminar coming soon

All events are open to the public.


A&S News