Our response to COVID-19

AstraZeneca is responding to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, consistent with our values to follow the science, put patients first and do the right thing.

The COVID-19 pandemic is placing immediate challenges on our healthcare systems and will also have a longer lasting impact on the way we live and think about our health. As a company, our priority is to respond to the needs of patients and help ensure their safety and continued access to care and medicines, as well as to play our part in helping to relieve the pressure on healthcare systems during this critical period.

To do this we are partnering with governments, international organizations, health professionals, industry and the patient community to provide emergency relief support, as well as helping to rapidly scale up solutions to unclog healthcare systems, allowing patients with chronic diseases to continue to be treated. We are also contributing to the process of scientific innovation that can combat the virus.Our response is based on four core objectives:

Providing emergency relief and humanitarian support based on urgent needs

Helping ensure continuity of care and patient safety, and strengthening capacity of healthcare systems

Protecting our employees and critical operations to ensure the continued supply of our medicines to the patients that need them

Contributing our own research and development to global and national efforts to combat the virus

With the COVID-19 pandemic claiming thousands of lives daily, we mobilized our teams to focus on researching new ways to tackle the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

We have initiated new clinical trials to investigate our new and existing medicines to see how they might protect organs from damage or suppress the body’s overactive immune response and turn off the cytokine storm in severely ill patients. As the SARS-CoV-2 virus is new, the scientific community is constantly learning about the virus and advancing our understanding on how best to tackle and treat this disease.

Through our internal scientific expertise in infectious disease and proprietary antibody discovery technology, we are identifying novel coronavirus-neutralising antibodies as a potential preventative or treatment approach to COVID-19 disease, with the aim of reaching clinical trials shortly. Monoclonal antibodies are synthesized in the laboratory to mimic natural antibodies and offer an opportunity to be given as a preventative option for those exposed to the virus, as well as treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected by the virus.

And as a longer-term preventative approach, we recently announced a landmark agreement with the University of Oxford for the global development, production and supply of their potential vaccine for COVID-19, and have committed to doing this at no profit during the pandemic period.  From the beginning, we stated that we will provide broad and equitable supply of the potential vaccine around the world at no profit during the pandemic. We have commitments in place to supply more than 2 billion doses.