- > CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)
- > Our Company’s Efforts to Limit the Spread of the Virus that Causes COVID-19
Our Company’s Efforts to Limit the Spread of the Virus that Causes COVID-19
First and foremost, we’d like to express our sincere sympathy to all the people around the world who have been adversely affected by the novel coronavirus. We sincerely wish for the speedy recovery of those afflicted, and we hope for an end to the pandemic as soon as possible.
As part of Daiichi Sankyo’s efforts to combat the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, the Daiichi Sankyo group is actively engaged in various measures and initiatives such as, but not limited to, contributing to vaccination research and development, ensuring a continuous supply of the Daiichi Sankyo group products, and providing disaster relief support.
In addition, we are also proactively taking measures to prevent the spread of infection and protect employees and their families by the limiting of face-to-face interactions and by promoting the group-wide implementation of working from home.
[Video message from Daiichi Sankyo’s President & CEO, Sunao Manabe, Regarding COVID-19]
We have submitted this video message to the UN Global Compact’s "CEOs Taking Action" website, which is part of #UnitingBusiness, a coordinated international plan involving the business sector to respond to COVID-19 initiative.
1. R&D Activities for COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapeutics
Daiichi Sankyo has established a company-wide task force to promote the research and development of vaccines and therapeutic agents targeting COVID-19.
By leveraging the best use of our past and present research properties, technologies, and accumulated R&D knowledge and experience as an innovative pharmaceutical company, and also in collaboration with external institutions, we are proactively involved in the development of a treatment for COVID-19, which is currently an urgent, global social need.
Daiichi Sankyo is also currently taking part of a study entitled, "Fundamental Research on the Control of a Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)," which is being conducted under the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) Project for Innovative Medicines Research Promotion for the Suppression of Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease led by Prof. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Institute of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokyo, as a Principal Investigator. We are proud to contribute to addressing one of the vaccine development challenges that AMED supports as part of an urgent government-wide effort against the worldwide spread of COVID-19.
We aim to use our novel nucleic acid delivery technology in the development of a genetic (mRNA) vaccination against COVID-19 to elicit appropriate immune responses targeting the COVID-19 effect antigens for prophylaxis, thereby making it a safer and better preventive product for practical use. Our technology focuses on forming lipid nanoparticle structures, stabilizing pharmaceutical active ingredients, and delivering nucleic acid into immune cells and we aim to induce a more optimal immune response compared to conventional vaccine technology.
2. Continuous Product Supply and Delivery
We are taking necessary measures to ensure the supply and delivery of our products worldwide. To date, there has been no disruption to our supply chain or to the delivery of our medicines to the people who need them. Nevertheless, we will continue to closely monitor our supply chain situation for any changes.
3. Clinical Trials
As the safety of patients is our first priority, we are conducting clinical trials in close collaboration with our clinical trial investigators and CROs in light of the recent guidance from local health regulatory authorities and in consideration of the situations at study locations, and also taking into account heavy burden of the virus on primary care facilities and public health.
We have experienced temporary suspensions of new patient study enrollment in some studies due to conditions in local areas and the need to focus healthcare resources to combating the pandemic. Some of these trials have resumed to enroll new patients while others remain temporarily suspended.
We recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to adapt and provide timely updated guidance related to Daiichi Sankyo clinical research. In particular, we are working closely with our clinical trial investigators and other relevant personnel to help to assure everyone’s safety and allow continued trial treatments to participants.
4. Disaster Relief
In support of relief efforts for countermeasures against COVID-19, Daiichi Sankyo has made a donation of US $1 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) through the Japan Center for International Exchange. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund was established to support the work of the WHO and is backed by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation. This donation is part of Daiichi Sankyo’s global contribution to society in light of the need to support worldwide measures against COVID-19 and concerns about the rapid spread of infections in the future in areas where access to healthcare in inadequate.
Daiichi Sankyo also made a donation of 1 million yuan through the Chinese Red Cross Association, in addition to a donation of medicine to primary care facilities in Wuhan City was made by a local group company, to support local responses to the virus outbreak in China in February 2020.
Other Daiichi Sankyo group companies around the world have also already provided a variety of support, including donations, to meet specific needs in their own countries or regions.
Our U.S. affiliate, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., has made donations to Americares, the American Red Cross, and other local organizations with programs dedicated to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, US employees with appropriate medical or healthcare credentials are allowed to take extra time away from work to volunteer their time to help alleviate the pressure on those on the healthcare front-lines who are taking care of patients.
Our European affiliates have supported a large number of local and regional organizations in the form of both financial and in-kind donations, including equipment for hospitals.
● In Germany, our European Headquarters, Daiichi Sankyo Europe GmbH, has made a donation of 100,000 euros to the city of Pfaffenhofen, near Munich, where one of our production sites is located. This money is earmarked for purchasing face protection masks.
● In Italy, the local Daiichi Sankyo affiliate donated 50,000 euros to provide necessary medical equipment and sanitary products to medical institutions. A matching donor program for individual contributions by employees has also been introduced.
● In Spain, the local Daiichi Sankyo affiliate donated 340,000 euros worth of urgently needed medical equipment to medical institutions.
● Also, in Portugal, Ireland, France and Belgium, the local Daiichi Sankyo affiliates donated a total of 48,000 euros to healthcare institutions and associations.
Details of further support by Daiichi Sankyo group companies worldwide will be made public on this page as they become available.
5. Measures to Prevent Spread of Infection and Supporting our Employees
In our Tokyo HQ we have established an “Emergency Response Team” led directly by our CEO, Sunao Manabe. As a company we have taken numerous measures to prevent the spread of the infection, taking into consideration the views of the Japanese government, governments in countries where we have affiliates, and other experts.
Daiichi Sankyo Group employees and contractors who work in countries or regions where the infection has rapidly expanded, and who are able to work from home, are being proactively encouraged to do so. Given the nature of our work, it is not possible for everyone to work remotely. We share immense appreciation for our colleagues dedicated to ensuring the continuous and safe supply of our medicines who continue to serve our patients working hard in our manufacturing and packaging sites globally. We have also ceased face-to-face interactions with customers, healthcare providers, and other business associates as much as possible in addition to continuing to adhere to the extensive travel restrictions that we had already put into place over the previous several weeks in support of the global effort to limit exposure to the virus.
Our affiliates globally have also established a wide variety of supportive programs and activities to help our employees and consultants as we all navigate through this crisis.
At the Daiichi Sankyo group, we will continue to strive to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, as well as provide timely, updated guidance related to our efforts, measures, and initiatives.