ARPM: pharmaceutical industry mobilized to fight COVID-19

Russia is doing everything possible to curb the spread of COVID-19. At this difficult time, the leading pharmaceutical companies unite and direct all their efforts to the creation and production of medicines and vaccines that everyone needs so much now. The pharmaceutical industry takes all necessary steps to maintain production continuity and ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines for patients both in Russia and the EAEU countries, and in countries that have applied for help to Russia.

The member companies of the Association of Russian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers join forces to focus on the fight against a new challenge. They conduct research, use all their experience and achievements against the virus, help both patients and those who are fighting at the forefront for the life and health of people.

So the company “Sanofi” is developing a candidate vaccine in the fight against COVID-19, drawing on its past experience in developing against SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). “We hope this helps us shorten the development time for a new vaccine. The company also conducts clinical trials of several drugs from our portfolio for the possibility of treating coronavirus infection, ”said Oksana Monge, Director General of Sanofi in the Eurasian region.

And the R-Farm group of companies filed the first international patent application for a biotechnological drug that binds viral particles and prevents their penetration into alveocytes. “The drug development project is now at an early stage, but it is a priority for R-Pharm and is moving forward in an accelerated manner. We expect that, along with other promising methods of treatment, the new molecule will be able to contribute to the fight against coronavirus infection in Russia and in the world,” says Alexey Repik, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the R-Pharm Group of Companies.

Takeda company is developing a polyclonal anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin (H-IG), which is designed to treat infected individuals with a high risk of developing COVID-19. The possibility of reorienting the drugs and molecules already available on the market for the treatment of COVID-19 is being studied.

“Our company dedicated to the treatment of diseases and promoting the health of people around the world will do everything possible to counter the threat posed by the new coronavirus,” said Dr. Rajiv Venkaya, president of the Takeda vaccine division and one of the leaders of the response team on COVID-19.

Novartis announced plans to launch Phase III clinical trials in collaboration with Incyte Pharmaceutical Corporation, which will help evaluate the efficacy of ruxolitinib for the treatment of such a severe form of an overreaction of the immune system as the cytokine storm. The study will evaluate the efficacy of ruxolitinib in combination with a standard of care (SC) compared with SC alone in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. “The company is taking a number of measures in order to meet the needs of the global community arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we are evaluating our portfolio of drugs in order to understand whether it is possible to use any existing Novartis therapy methods for indications other than those already approved,” said John Tsai, Head of Global Drug Development and Global Medical Director,“ Novartis. "


ARPM member companies are actively involved in the fight against the virus and donate personal protective equipment to civil and religious organizations. So, the monks and novices of the Valaam monastery became the recipients of the masks. Also the Bright Way group of companies transferred 1,000 masks to the administration of the Naro-Fominsk district for their further distribution to the medical organizations of the region. The Servier RUS plant, together with the Administration of the Krasnopakhorskoye settlement, join forces in ensuring the safety of the local population. Servier volunteers take part in the project “Help doctors help!” of foundation “Sozidanie”: carry out an online search for manufacturers and suppliers of protective equipment, hygiene and other basic necessities so that the fund’s employees can purchase the protective equipment needed by hospitals in Moscow, Moscow Region and other regions of the country.

One of the leading domestic manufacturers, scientific and technological pharmaceutical company Polisan, sent to Jakarta a batch of medicines Cycloferon and Reamberin intended for the combined treatment of patients with severe and moderate form of the disease COVID-19, as well as for the prevention of possible infection of medical personnel and increase the level of immune body protection. Russian specialists presented the treatment regimen and planned to hold a video conference with the Ministry of Health and specialized hospitals in Indonesia for further clarification.

 “Our industry belongs to life support structures. Therefore, the ARPM member companies not only did not stop production for a minute, but also, understanding social and medical responsibility, increased it. Our help is needed not only for Russian patients, but also for patients from other countries who have experienced a lack of drugs for the prevention and treatment of COVID — 19,” said Victor Dmitriev.

In the fight against the spread of coronavirus, pharmaceutical company employees who are not directly involved in production, quality control and supply work remotely.

“Since our employees currently do not personally visit doctors and pharmacists, we switched to a remote form of interaction with them using digital tools such as webinars, WhatsApp and STADA.HELP. This is an interesting experience that will help us organize our work more effectively even after the situation improves,” says Denis Bogomolov, CEO of STADA in Russia and the CIS.

Under constrained conditions, all pharmaceutical plants operate as normal. To ensure the safety of their employees, companies are taking all the necessary measures to prevent coronavirus infection in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor). ARPM Directorate works remotely.

A change in the usual way of life, daily news about the coronavirus and the economic situation seriously affect the mental state of people. Stress load increased for all residents of the country. Even small children who are not yet reading the news are not immune from this — the panic state of their parents cannot but affect them. At the same time, stress is a provocateur and risk factor for many diseases, among other things; it negatively affects the body’s immune defense.

According to AlphaRM analytic company, at week 12, 2020, psycholeptics have significantly increased in sales, especially in Moscow. “In such conditions, preventive measures aimed at reducing emotional stress are more important than ever. It is also important in this case not to resort to severe psychotropic drugs without an acute need, which have a number of serious side effects and cannot be used for a long time without the supervision of a doctor. Under these conditions, the drug Glycine, developed and introduced into production by Russian scientists, became popular,” said Yaroslav Narcissov, Director General of Biotiki, the manufacturer of the drug.

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