COVID-19: Playing our part in the global response
Posted byVéronique Toully, Sustainability
These are challenging times. The surge of cases of COVID-19 is having a profound impact on people around the world, putting pressure on our health systems and disrupting all our daily lives.It is heartening to seeing the wave of solidarity coming from companies, organizations and individuals. At UCB we are also looking to do our part.
Our action is based on three pillars:
- Contributing to basic research and treatment development
- Offering our expertise to increase local testing capabilities
- Supporting locally and globally through donations as well as direct assistance to patients and partners.
We are offering our scientific expertise to researchers and governments.
For example, in the US we are actively working with the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease to identify crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 proteins. We are also partnering in the UK with Diamond Light Source and The University of Oxford to design inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2’s main protease for treatment of COVID-19 patients; and we are collaborating with The University of Oxford on a vaccine development.
In parallel, we are working with government agencies and the healthcare community to determine if any of our therapies could be used effectively to help hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Offering our expertise to increase local testing capabilities
In countries where we have lab facilities, we are working with governments and academia to define if and how we can help in COVID-19 testing and monitoring of people who have been exposed to the virus.
In Belgium we are working closely with local authorities in a task force announced by Minister Philippe De Backer, Secretary of State, to increase COVID-19 testing capabilities in the country. We are also looking at similar possibilities in the UK.
Supporting through donations and direct support to patients and partners
We are organizing donations to healthcare authorities in Belgium and Switzerland of materials such as hydro-alcoholic solution which we have already begun producing on our major manufacturing sites.
In China we donated protective garments and goggles to designated hospitals. We have also sent masks and goggles to the Belgian healthcare authorities and local hospitals.
UCB is supporting healthcare professionals in our company who wish to volunteer their expertise in line with local government needs and guidance.
We also know that some of our patients in our communities need information about their treatment and may need additional financial support due to the current health crisis. We are monitoring their needs and our resources daily to ensure our patient assistant programs and medical information services continue to meet the needs of our patients in these exceptional circumstances.
Furthermore, we are concerned by the impact of this crisis on micro and small businesses during the coming weeks and months. We are therefore offering the opportunity for our micro and small suppliers in need to request expedited payment of their current outstanding invoices and will, during this time of crisis, shorten our payment terms for new orders with these suppliers.
Never before have we collectively had to face such a pandemic, and we are all still seeing how to respond in the best way to help overcome this global virus. Within UCB we want to do right for our patients, employees and communities. Stay Safe everyone!