Geneva, February 10, 2020: Throughout the R&D-based biopharmaceutical industry, our first thoughts are with all those affected by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (nCov-2019).
The spread of the epidemic is a major public health threat for all affected countries; and we share the WHO’s concern for those countries with weaker health systems who could be disproportionately impacted.
Our industry welcomes the decision taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 30 January 2020 (IFPMA statement) to declare a public health emergency of international concern and reflects the serious nature of this public health threat.
The industry is fully supportive of efforts that will ensure the scientific community can respond quickly to the challenges this epidemic faces. As a science-driven industry that aims to address some of the world’s biggest health care challenges, the research-based pharmaceutical industry clearly has a role to play in developing new and improved medicines and vaccines to help respond to this epidemic. R&D biopharmaceutical companies with potentially relevant knowhow have teams of scientists checking their libraries of potential assets that could fight coronaviruses.
The speedy sharing of the 2019_nCoV pathogen sequence, followed by the declaration of the novel coronavirus as an international emergency and the convening of an R&D Forum, should further galvanise global collaboration with the private and public sectors as required for timely development of vaccines and treatments. R&D biopharmaceutical companies are already engaging with existing networks such as CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and Europe’s IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative).
In addition to R&D efforts, many research-based biopharmaceutical companies with a presence in China are donating funds, medicines, diagnostics and medical protective products.