Collaboration for safe and effective COVID-19 therapies
R&D biopharmaceutical companies have brought together their best people, resources and expertise to accelerate the development of new treatments for use in the fight against COVID-19. The R&D biopharmaceutical companies are working with urgency to research and test potential COVID-19 treatments, without compromising safety and quality. To ensure that nobody is left behind in facing this pandemic, industry is committed working with governments to make these treatments available and affordable for the patients that need them.

The industry is living up to its public commitments, collaborating widely to ensure that its breadth of expertise in therapeutics (research, clinical development, manufacturing) is shared across the scientific community as part of the global fight against COVID-19. As many as 25 R&D biopharmaceutical companies are conducting clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medicines to treat COVID-19. While this work is underway, R&D biopharmaceutical companies are maintaining production and distribution to keep supplying essential medicines for patients with other life-threatening diseases.

Becoming a Founding Partner of the recently launched landmark global partnership Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator demonstrates the R&D biopharmaceutical industry’s deep sense of responsibility toward citizens, patients and wider society. Its role in the ACT partnership is important, as the industry is uniquely placed to find and scale up solutions for preventing and treating the COVID-19 virus. In addition, IFPMA member companies have lived up to their commitment to share real-time clinical trial data with governments and other companies around the world so as to advance the development of additional therapies.

No stone unturned – As soon as the SARS-CoV-2 genome was shared in January, R&D biopharmaceutical companies screened their libraries of medicines to identify potential treatments and undertake numerous clinical trials to test new and existing therapies. The R&D biopharmaceutical industry is today engaged, either individually or in collaboration, in testing the safety and effectiveness of dozens of different therapies including anti-malarials, anti-inflammatory anti-virals, auto-immune, anti-inflammatories/inhibitors and plasma treatments. The virus is complex and there is still a great deal that remains unknown; hence, many different options and approaches are needed to treat patients at different stages of infection. Healthcare providers will need a portfolio of treatment choices, not a “single” solution.

Advancing as fast as possible on many different fronts, while resource intensive, holds out the greatest promise of finding safe and effective solutions. A great deal of this effort is being carried out by putting aside normal competition and instead working in collaboration with partners in academia, philanthropy, public and private sector, pooling knowledge and sharing expertise. As a result there is a robust innovative biopharmaceutical ecosystem and the existing incentives to drive innovation has already yielded unprecedented levels of collaboration, cooperation with over 130 COVID-19 therapeutic candidates under investigation.

In addition, the R&D biopharmaceutical industry is providing financial support and in-kind donations to communities and collaborating with national and global health authorities to combat this worldwide public health emergency. To date, IFPMA member companies have given over $700 million in monetary donations, as well as critical medical supplies worth at least $40m to support patients and governments in addressing this evolving crisis.

Nobody left behind – At the same time, while diverting considerable resources to the fight against COVID-19, the R&D biopharmaceutical industry has worked to secure continuity of supply for all essential medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for patients with other life-threatening diseases. Keeping the production and distribution of exiting treatments for patients going, as well as making sure medicines are available to treat the underlying conditions associated with COVID-19 is important.

Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the body representing the innovative biopharmaceutical industry, explains: “Many of the most promising treatments that originate from the laboratories of the R&D biopharmaceutical industry are the product of a thriving and invaluable, innovative biopharmaceutical ecosystem. We recognize the scale of the COVID-19 crisis will require a novel modus operandi, built on partnership in the public interest. We are working on an equal footing and shared basis with other interested bodies across the board to find solutions so that safe and effective treatments can be accessible for all those in need – wherever and whoever they may be.”

Cueni concludes: “We will only succeed in reaching this goal if we journey together”.
IFPMA will join the global collaboration
Pharma industry body joins as founding partner a new global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 tools

The world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies proclaimed their commitment to a landmark global partnership launched today and designed to accelerate the development and production of safe, effective and affordable therapeutics and vaccines available for all in a way that ensures nobody is left behind in the fight against COVID-19. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), of which Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (AIFD) is a member, the body representing the innovative biopharmaceutical industry in Geneva, will join the global collaboration as a Founding Partner to represent industry.

The industry has been working flat-out to marshal its unique expertise to find a durable solution to the spread of COVID-19 and stands ready to scale up its work on an even more unprecedented scale in line with its previously expressed commitments. By joining the global collaboration, the innovative biopharmaceutical industry can work on an equal footing with all stakeholders to help speed up the development of safe and effective therapeutics and vaccines, share tools and insights to test potential therapies and vaccines, increase manufacturing capabilities and share available capacities and share real-time clinical trial data with governments and other companies around the world.

This collaboration is aligned with the innovative biopharmaceutical companies’ strong sense of responsibility to act together as well as in partnership with all stakeholders but also their determination to play the greatest possible role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The biopharmaceutical industry holds the keys to finding lasting and equitable solutions through new therapeutics and vaccines. Industry welcomes today’s acknowledgment of the critical role of the private sector in this fight.

The industry statement delivered by Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA at the collaboration’s launch event and in the presence of Senior United Nations, government and health leaders from around the world states: “The biopharmaceutical industry is acutely aware of the enormous responsibility we have to patients and society to engage in unprecedented levels of collaboration to find a solution to COVID-19. We stand ready to bring to this partnership our unique knowledge and expertise in the discovery and development of medicines and vaccines, as well as our experience building manufacturing capacity and distribution networks.”

Cueni went on to say: “Today, scientists in the public and private sector hold the keys to our common goal: The swift end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to be part of this landmark global partnership and are fully committed to its goal to accelerate development, production and equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. In the fight against COVID-19, we must ensure that no one is left behind”.

He concluded the statement by saying: “We will only succeed in this journey together”.

Full statement: IFPMA Statement on the launch of a new global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 tools