Pat Vallano, Ph.D., serves as the Head of Innovative Programs for Research & Development at Viatris in Morgantown, West Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry and has 30 years’ experience in the pharma industry developing generic, novel and biosimilar products.
In my many years working in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), I’ve learned that discoveries of all shapes and sizes can have a meaningful impact on people’s lives. In many cases, it’s smaller, incremental advances that can potentially minimize day-to-day challenges with disease symptoms in a significant way and give patients more control in their treatment journey.
While these smaller steps may not get as much attention, they can seem life changing to patients and make a difference for those with chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). That’s why I’m proud to be part of the team that drives innovation and supports our mission of empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life.
At Viatris, we pursue R&D with our diverse team of scientists along with our academic and research partners to make medicines more accessible to patients around the globe, including those living with MS and other difficult-to-treat conditions. We also focus on helping address the problems that matter most to patients and their healthcare providers (HCPs). Developing novel treatment options can be particularly important in diseases like MS. Because MS is a complex disease, historically, it’s been difficult to develop a cure. Having access to different treatment options can be critical for patients with complex or chronic diseases because even among patients with the same condition, the best course of treatment can differ considerably due to issues with access to care, tolerability to a medication or other factors.
While there’s been progress in treatment for MS over the past 10 years, unmet needs persist for certain patient populations that have been overlooked, such as those with more mild or moderate disease progression. Of course, it isn’t easy to pinpoint and develop solutions that can enhance the lives of patients. In practice, it requires building the right partnerships, hearing diverse perspectives and connecting with the community to understand what matters most to patients and the HCPs who treat them.
When I’m in the laboratory, I’m contemplating the ways we can move the needle to meet diverse challenges for individual patients. I’m thinking about the mother who carves out precious moments from her hectic schedule to inject her treatment, the teacher who struggles to sleep at night due to challenges tolerating her medication and the grandfather who may struggle to adhere to his treatment regimen.
Meeting a multitude of needs requires a multitude of approaches, and I have the great privilege to come to work every day knowing we may have an opportunity to advance innovations to potentially minimize challenges for that mother, teacher or grandfather—whether through a generic medicine, a trusted brand, an improved version of an existing medicine, or a truly novel therapeutic solution.
Because we know people need treatment options that address individual patient needs, improving access to high-quality medicines is fundamental to our mission, which is why we’re thinking holistically about people living with MS to apply novel approaches to drug development and patient support.
Working with academic and industry partners, we can better support MS patients with a holistic approach and address every aspect of their treatment journey. My team looks forward to drawing on our research and development partnerships and global reach to help provide MS patients and the physicians who treat them with more options to manage symptoms.
Learn more about the importance of partnerships and how we’re meeting patients where they are today.