Conversations and healthy debate about issues facing our industry and the health care system are critical to addressing some of today’s challenges and opportunities. The Catalyst welcomes guest contributors, including patients, stakeholders, innovators and others, to share their perspectives and point of view.
Today, we are pleased to welcome a guest post Ramona Sequeira, president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. She leads the U.S. Business Unit for Takeda and serves as a member of Takeda Pharmaceutical's Executive Team as well as Treasurer of the PhRMA Board.
Takeda is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the global response. As a company dedicated to the health and well-being of people around the globe, we are committed to taking steps to help those impacted by the coronavirus.
To this end, earlier this month we announced that we are developing an anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) to treat high-risk individuals with COVID-19, which we’re calling TAK-888. Hyperimmune globulin is a plasma derived-therapy that has previously been shown to be effective in the treatment of severe acute viral respiratory infections and could be a treatment option for patients with COVID-19. We’re collaborating with several health and regulatory agencies and health care partners across the globe to move the research forward.
Critical to this program is access to source plasma from people who have successfully recovered from COVID-19. These convalescent donors have developed antibodies to the virus that could potentially mitigate severity of illness in COVID-19 patients.
At the same time, we are also exploring whether currently marketed and pipeline products may be an effective treatment option for infected patients. This will take time, but we are moving as quickly as possible.
We are excited about the potential to address this public health crisis in both the short and long-term. In order to move these programs forward, we know we must prioritize the health and safety of our employees. We’ve canceled all non-essential domestic and international travel and have directed our 50,000 employees to work from home whenever possible. This guidance applies to our field teams who we are working with to provide virtual support to healthcare providers. We realize this is challenging for everyone but our efforts thus far are critical to slowing the transmission of this virus and “flattening the curve.”
We realize we are dealing with a situation that is unprecedented for all of us. But we are confident in our collective ability to address this outbreak and learn from it to better respond to these types of situations in the future. We look forward to working with our partners in industry, academia and government to bring better health and a brighter future to people worldwide during these uncertain times.
To learn more about COVID-19, visit PhRMA.org/coronavirus.