Harnessing Data to Assess the Impact of a Viral Pandemic

Posted on 20 Apr, 2020
By IPOS International

Data, as an intangible asset (IA), can be harnessed to help enterprises not only make sense of these uncertain times, but open up new possibilities to overcome the challenges it brings.

Forming the theme for our internal e-sharing last Friday, Alrik Tan, IP Strategist offered his perspective on how data surrounding the COVID-19 situation can be interpreted in a variety of ways to assess its true impact upon businesses:

While we are expecting an eventual global slowdown in the daily numbers, it does not seem to be happening as of yet. The benefit of seeing this data in log-scale draws to the concept of tapering growth. Here, we see that most countries have overcome the exponential growth period and cases have started to taper off.

Read also: A Cure for COVID-19 - Patent Pending?

However, at this stage, Singapore’s chart does not show any signs of a slowdown.

This chart looks at the daily number of reported cases in various countries. Countries that took earlier action to contain the spread appear to show a possible improvement to the situation, with their daily reported numbers seemingly slowing down.

In this case study above, we see that:

  • Kentucky’s rate of spread is much slower than Tennessee's.
  • Kentucky enacted early and stricter measures of social distancing.
  • Social distancing, coupled with appropriate early intervention and our individual responsibility to adhere to these, are instrumental to slowing the spread.

Read also: Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Rights in the Fight against COVID-19

This chart shows the negative outlook that market analysts have predicted for the different market sectors. The numbers in brackets indicate the number of analysts who commented on that sector.

  • Sectors linked to tourism and automobiles are highly affected.
  • Healthcare remains less affected, and still plays an important role.

The clinical space relating to the coronavirus obtained from clinicaltrial.gov shows a heatmap with highest concentration of trials relating to the virus in US, Europe and China.

A word cloud of descriptors for total trials show that testing relating to drugs are most highly prevalent.

Read also: The Pandemic: Obstacle or Opportunity?

Terence Tan, Patent Examiner, also shed light on how the world is working at an unprecedented speed to discover a solution, with businesses pivoting to support this cause by leveraging their IA and IP:

The recent pandemic of has triggered an unseen velocity in repurposing pre-existing drugs to treat the COVID-19 disease. The following drugs have garnered the most attention in clinical trials:

Figure 1: Chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug has the potential of preventing the step of uncoating after virus entry that is critical for the release of the viral genetic material into the host cell to enable virus production.


Figure 2: Remdesivir, a proprietary antiviral nucleotide analogue drug owned by Gilead shows the ability to block the synthesis of viral genetic material that is needed to form new infectious virus particles and initiate new infection cycles.

Read also: Growing Your Business While Embracing CSR – A Razer Case Study


Figure 3: Kaletra, an anti-HIV drug combination comprising Ritonavir and Lopinavir is purportedly able to interfere with virus assembly by inhibiting the viral protease that mediates the production of virus proteins essential for new virus formation.

In summary,

  • There is unprecedented speed, with over 600 clinical trials ongoing to find effective treatment for COVID-19.
  • There are over 30 vaccine candidates in various stages of development, and the results of at least two vaccines are expected within the next few months.
  • In combination with containment and social distancing measures, winning the war against this virus is on the horizon."


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