Joining forces to expand global access to COVID-19 solutions
COVID-19 threatens communities everywhere, and it can only be addressed through the collective actions of stakeholders across private, public and philanthropic sectors in partnership with civil society. With this in mind, in September, Novartis was one of 16 life sciences companies, together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to commit to accelerating the discovery of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. As a co-chair of the Gates Foundation CEO Roundtable, our CEO helped drive this commitment, which represents the most expansive and ambitious pandemic R&D response effort in history.
This is an unprecedented collaboration to tackle the biggest global health challenge of our lifetime, and this commitment is critical to helping ensure that people – no matter where they live or what they can pay – have access to the diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines that will help end this pandemic. To help ensure equitable global access to these innovations, we committed to conduct clinical trials in diverse settings and populations, and to rapidly scale up global manufacturing capacity. We aim to pursue a range of approaches to make the products we are developing or supporting affordable in lower-income countries, including through donations, not-for-profit supply, and tiered-pricing agreements based on country needs and capabilities.
“We take a holistic approach to addressing global health challenges. We work with partners and communities to help strengthen healthcare systems and create new opportunities for medical innovation to benefit lower-income populations”
In October, Novartis announced a collaboration with Molecular Partners AG to develop, manufacture and commercialize two potential antiviral treatments for COVID-19 based on a new class of protein therapeutics known as DARPin®.
Novartis is also collaborating in open science efforts to identify immediate solutions for patients and to anticipate pandemics of the future. For example, we’re working with researchers from other pharmaceutical companies and the University of California, Berkeley, to target a protein that is essential for coronavirus survival. The goal is to find a molecule that blocks all coronaviruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19.