COVID-19 pandemic is starting to take a heavy toll on medical staff and facilities around the world, some areas are now near a breaking point. Many of our own people with medical training have volunteered or been enlisted to help those working on the front lines and treat critically ill patients. We fully support their contribution and have put measures in place to ensure their safety as well as that of all our employees, their families, and our communities.
Sanofi is collaborating with global governments and health agencies to develop a vaccine against the virus, while also testing treatment options using existing medicines, and we are working to maintain continuous access to all of the essential medicines we produce for patients.
We Are Leveraging Our Expertise in Vaccine Development
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, is collaborating with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, to leverage previous work on a SARS vaccine and its recombinant vaccine platform to unlock a path forward for developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19; the virus that causes COVID-19 disease belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as SARS, which can cause respiratory disease.
In practical terms, this means that research and clinical material could be produced relatively quickly. We are currently working with Protein Sciences, a Sanofi company, which previously worked on the development of a SARS vaccine, and are also cooperating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which coordinates the development of future vaccines against targeted epidemic pathogens identified by the World Health Organization.
While we are working hard to have a vaccine candidate available for in vitro testing within six months, it will still take time to develop and evaluate it through human clinical trials, ensuring it is safe and effective.
We Are Exploring Alternative Treatment Options
We are researching whether some of our existing products may be potential treatment options, especially for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.
We Are Working to Avoid Shortages
One of our key priorities is to maintain the supply of all our medicines and vaccines, critical for patients with other illnesses and to maintain public health, through close collaboration with our suppliers throughout the world. Our global industrial network is operational, including France, China and Italy, and the diversity of our sourcing allows for business continuity across all our medicines for the time being.
We also remain fully committed to the patients in our clinical trials and currently are largely able to maintain continuity of our ongoing studies and treatment of patients in these studies.
We Are Ensuring the Safety of Our Employees
We have implemented science-based recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19 in all of our operations to protect the health of our employees and their families. Our global crisis committee is actively working to help prevent employee exposure to the virus while continuously monitoring the potential impact on our business activities. Local crisis teams are also working in different countries to manage local realities in closer proximity to employees.
Sanofi is continually assessing the global health implications of this pandemic–and our role in addressing this challenge–and we remain committed to working closely with global health organizations and governments to minimize the risk and impact of the COVID-19 virus.