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Novartis forms coronavirus alliance with life sciences companies

Partnership will accelerate research with aid of Gates Foundation

Novartis

Swiss pharma Novartis and a consortium of life sciences companies have partnered to accelerate the research and development of potential vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Initially, 15 companies across three continents have agreed to share their molecular compound libraries, with a particular focus on compounds which already have some safety and activity data.

The data will be shared with the COVID-19 therapeutics accelerator created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard.

The alliance will aim to combine a range of assets, resources and expertise to identify effective and scalable solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of trials of existing drugs, diagnostics test, compounds and investigational vaccines have already started across the world, and promising clinical assets will require further clinical study, scale-up of manufacturing and distribution.

The life sciences industry, Novartis says, has extensive experience in all of these areas, lending it the capability to get effective treatments to patients as fast as possible.

“We feel a deep shared responsibility to see if there are specific areas where collaboration across the life sciences industry and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation can accelerate solutions to this pandemic,” said Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis.

“In addition to the individual contributions companies are already making, collective action is critical to ensure any promising studies into vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics are quickly scaled to people around the world who are affected by this pandemic,” he added.

Last week, Novartis launched a $20m response fund to support communities around the world that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will provide grants to support public health initiatives to help communities manage the challenges posed by the pandemic.

That includes initiatives focused on strengthening local and national healthcare infrastructure, establishing digital platforms for COVID-19 related data collection, remote delivery of healthcare and effective dissemination of crucial public health information.

Biogen has also committed $10m to support global response efforts to the COVID-19 outbreak, and a host of companies, including Gilead, Moderna, Pfizer and more are developing vaccines and therapeutics targeting the virus.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

26th March 2020

From: Research, Marketing

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