Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos PhD FRSB FMedSci, Executive Vice President & President BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca
The rate of change across healthcare is more rapid than ever before and although this year has been challenging, it has forced us to think progressively about how we enable and execute the discovery and development of the next wave of life-changing medicines to patients.
AstraZeneca has rapidly mobilised its research efforts to combat COVID-19 in response to the global pandemic. Our internal experts are joining forces with international health authorities, governments, academia and industry peers to accelerate the development of medicines to prevent or treat the infection, to boost diagnostic testing, and to help protect healthcare workers on the frontline.
Through our scientific expertise in infectious disease and proprietary antibody discovery technology, we are developing a long-acting antibody combination, AZD7442 as a potential treatment and prevention of COVID-19 disease. Then in April, we announced a landmark agreement with the University of Oxford for the global development and supply of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222. Late-stage clinical development of AZD1222 is progressing globally, enrolling up to 50,000 participants and so far, we have built global capacity to supply towards three billion doses, building a number of supply chains in parallel across the world.
Alongside our focus to find new and preventative treatment approaches towards COVID-19, we are also accelerating the development of our diagnostic testing capabilities and in the UK, we formed a collaboration with GSK and the University of Cambridge to support the government’s national effort to boost COVID-19 testing. Together, we set up a new testing laboratory in 5 weeks – an operation that would usually take six months.
With the COVID-19 pandemic claiming thousands of lives daily, defeating COVID-19 requires a collective effort from everyone working in healthcare and we are committed to playing our part.