Pharma Companies Join Gates Foundation in Consortium for COVID-19

Fifteen pharma companies have formed a consortium with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to fasten COVID treatments.  

A consortium of 15 pharmaceutical companies have formed a collaboration with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which was launched earlier this month (March 2020) by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard with up to $125 million in seed funding, to speed up the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling up treatments for COVID-19. 

The collaboration is intended to help accelerate the development, manufacture and delivery of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for COVID-19. The 15 companies have agreed to share their proprietary libraries of molecular compounds that already have some degree of safety and activity data with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. Companies participating in the collaboration include: BD, bioMérieux, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai, Eli Lilly and Company, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Merck KGaA, Novartis, Pfizer, and Sanofi. 

“This is an encouraging start in a critical area because if any of these compounds are shown to be effective against COVID-19 it dramatically accelerates the path to product approval and scale up,” said Suzman, Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a March 26, 2020 statement.  “While each of the partners will also be pursuing other efforts in partnership with national governments and other partners, it is a great example of why we are optimistic that this unprecedented collaboration will provide a platform for a fundamentally different kind of partnership to help address this global health emergency.”

The consortium of life science companies is being co-chaired by Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis.

Source: Novartis

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