Case Studies

Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV)


Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH)


When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe in the spring of 2020, it quickly became clear that no infrastructure existed to coordinate a full-scale national response to the emergency. FNIH rapidly assembled ACTIV, a public-private partnership that brought together more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies; U.S. government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration; and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response. ACTIV was tasked with tracking the evolution of the virus and resistance to therapies, developing vaccines, facilitating clinical and preclinical research to advance new therapies, and studying medicines that might be repurposed to fight the virus—all of which required rapid and focused support to synthesize and report key discussions and action items.   

How RLA Moved Science Forward

RLA hit the ground running in this highly dynamic environment by deploying science writers to support two dozen FNIH working groups, which met more than 550 times between April 2020 and the end of April 2021. By delivering meeting summaries and action items within 24 hours of each meeting, RLA helped ACTIV build and sustain the momentum needed to respond to rapidly evolving challenges during the first year of the pandemic. Since that time, RLA has produced meeting readouts for hundreds of additional meetings. RLA continues to support ACTIV in its work to coordinate international clinical trials of three therapeutic classes (antivirals, immune modulators, and symptomatic/supportive therapies) and to monitor the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants.


As the unprecedented crisis receded, the full scope of the accomplishments that emerged from this large-scale global effort came into focus. ACTIV reviewed more than 800 candidate therapeutic agents and rapidly deployed networks of more than 700 clinical trial sites in the United States and internationally, ultimately contributing to authorizations of multiple drugs for COVID-19 and changing clinical practice. ACTIV also conducted groundbreaking research on the fundamental science behind innate and adaptive immune responses. New platforms were created to enable the testing of promising therapies—not just for COVID-19, but for future health threats.


  • Produce fully synthesized meeting summaries with agendas, action items, and participant lists
  • Produce synthesized transcript-style notes on an expedited 24-hour turnaround schedule
  • Record meetings and securely transfer recordings to authorized staff
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