Biotech industry: We're coming together to fight COVID-19

America’s biopharmaceutical companies are coming together and leveraging decades-long investments in research and treatments to swiftly fight COVID-19.

“Our industry has come together in an unprecedented way to direct all possible resources at this pandemic,” said Joni Johnson, executive director of South Dakota Biotech.

“We hope that our South Dakota biotech community and our broader community will be encouraged by the incredible efforts that are happening.”

According to the international BIO organization and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry is undertaking the following measures:

We are rapidly screening our vast global libraries of medicines to identify potential treatments and have numerous clinical trials underway to test new and existing therapies.
We are dedicating our top scientists and using our investments in new technologies to speed the development of safe and effective vaccines We are sharing the learnings from clinical trials in real time with governments and other companies to advance the development of additional therapies.
We are expanding our unique manufacturing capabilities and sharing available capacity to ramp up production once a successful medicine or vaccine is developed.
We are collaborating with government agencies, hospitals, doctors and others to donate supplies and medicines to help those affected around the world.
We are working with governments and insurers to ensure that when new treatments and vaccines are approved, they will be available and affordable for patients.
We are coordinating with governments and diagnostic partners to increase COVID-19 testing capability and capacity.
We are protecting the integrity of the pharmaceutical supply chain and keeping our plants open to maintain a steady supply of medicines for patients.
We are providing financial support and in-kind donations to organizations and patients around the globe.
We are working hard to protect our workforce and the communities where we live and work, having employees working from home whenever possible and keeping our sales forces out of hospitals and physicians’ offices.
We are remaining steadfast in our commitment to research and development of new medicines to prevent, treat and cure disease in all its forms, not just COVID-19.

“What we are seeing and hearing about tests, therapeutics and vaccine development is encouraging,” Johnson said. “Our industry mission is to feed, fuel and heal the world, and we know we have the talent and the drive to achieve that, now and going forward.”

The biotech industry has compiled resources for those in the industry and those interested in learning more. To see it, click here.

In addition, there is a new “hub” website for biotech companies to share information, needs and manufacturing capacity.

The national BIO website also includes a list biopharmaceutical innovators “leading the charge” in the fight against COVID-19. One of those is Sioux Falls-based SAB Biotherapeutics, which is working on an antiviral to treat COVID-19.