To our patients, health providers, employees and partners,
When life around the world is temporarily upended, it’s more important than ever to stay focused on our humanity and our purpose. During this COVID-19 crisis, I continue to be blown away by how the entire Sanofi family–from the distribution centers to the lab benches and beyond–has doubled down on their sense of purpose to make and deliver medicines that patients rely on. Rest assured, we’re mobilized, we’re working 24/7 on solutions, and we’re optimistic.
It is inspiring to see millions of people around the world do their duty to fellow mankind by taking measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and take care of those affected by the virus in their communities. For healthcare providers, that duty takes them into potentially dangerous situations, and we commend them for their bravery and dedication. We’re also thankful for those keeping grocery stores and other critical services up and running at great personal risk. And, we’re thankful for the other pharma companies throwing their efforts into COVID-19 research. Together, we will get through this.
What’s important today–and what will continue to be crucial for the foreseeable future–is that we, as an industry, maintain this unprecedented energy and rapid innovation. Every company is operating with one incentive only: saving lives. We’re all urging each other on, and the race is not against one another, it’s against this virus. Within the Sanofi community, we’ve prioritized transparency, and that has led to skyrocketing levels of trust among our employees and constituents. It’s this kind of positive momentum that will transform our industry for the better, if we embrace and sustain it.
At Sanofi, we’re fighting the COVID-19 behemoth on three fronts: we’re fighting against the virus itself, we’re fighting for the thousands of patients who rely on our medications, and we’re fighting for the industry to learn and evolve. I’m immensely proud of the thousands of Sanofi employees who are showing up every day to fight on these fronts.
To assure our communities that we’re doing everything we can to protect our patients and our employees during this chaotic time, I’d like to share how we’re making an immediate and lasting impact:
- Leading the race for a vaccine: We’re leaning into our 130-year legacy in vaccines and working with best-in-class partners to develop a vaccine that is safe, effective and highly scalable. We are pursuing both traditional vaccine processes as well as more experimental platforms, to be sure we have more shots on goal. This will help protect the world from future massive outbreaks of this virus. And our infrastructure positions us well to produce and scale hundreds of millions of doses when we get a viable vaccine candidate.
- Providing and exploring potential treatments: One of the fastest ways to find treatments for COVID-19 is to take existing medications and reapply them. We have launched, in collaboration with Regeneron, a clinical program evaluating one of our existing drugs to treat the symptoms of severe COVID-19 in patients hospitalized in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, Russia, and the US. We are also supporting the World Health Organization’s international clinical trial, “Solidarity”, to investigate the use of several medicines in the management of COVID-19.
- Collaborating across borders, industry and more: To beat this virus, we must all collaborate with governments, fellow pharma companies and biotechs, and international agencies to accelerate the development of a vaccine and treatments. What we care about is that we, together, do what is right for mankind, for humanity. As such, we’re working closely with organizations such as Translate Bio, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the European Medicines Agency.
- Ensuring the continuity of essentials: 80 percent of the medicines Sanofi produces are considered essential, and, as of today, we’re operating at an output of about 90 percent, with 90 percent of our manufacturing employees able to continue working while strictly adhering to all safety guidelines. We’re also monitoring our supply chains very closely, and we’ve installed specific systems to keep on-going clinical trials on track to ensure that we maintain innovation momentum across all of our workstreams.
- Preparing for the future: COVID-19 has exacerbated the risk of being overly reliant on sourcing from third countries, which could threaten the supply of medicines if they face a crisis. While it is unrelated to COVID-19, Sanofi’s recently announced intention to create a leading active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) company based in France by combining six of our European sites is relevant to the current situation. API are the essential molecules responsible for the beneficial effects used in the composition of any drug. Our aim is to secure significant API manufacturing and supply capacities that are critical for patients in Europe, and beyond. We’re also calling for the establishment of the European equivalent of BARDA, which may help increase incentives for proactive vaccine research and development.
The world was caught off-guard by the rapid spread of COVID-19, but this does not have to be the case for future pandemic-like viruses. We’re inspired and invigorated by the level of collaboration and speed of innovation during this time of crisis. As an industry and a global society, we need to keep bringing people to the table and asking them to move fast. If we can do that, we can, most importantly, save lives, and we might just be able to avoid the prospect of a “next time.”
Paul Hudson, CEO Sanofi