ViiV’s position on COVID-19 outbreak
31 March 2020
ViiV Healthcare’s mission is to leave no person living with HIV behind and in these uncertain times we remain absolutely committed to ensuring that we deliver on it. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve rapidly, we want to reassure everyone that the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, partners, and people living with HIV remains ViiV Healthcare’s top priority.
We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact. We remain committed to balancing our responsibilities and are prioritising three areas:
- our commitment to supporting the health and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and people living with HIV;
- protecting our ability to manufacture and supply medicines
- and contributing to the global efforts to contain the virus
Consistent with our values and role as the only global healthcare company solely focused on HIV, we will continue to make decisions informed by the latest science and in consultation with leading health authorities.
In-line with these principles, we have implemented a variety of measures to help prevent spread of disease and minimise disruption to our operations.
- Ensuring medicine supply and patient access.
Our ViiV Healthcare manufacturing and supply teams are fully integrated with our GSK Supply Chain partners. In partnership with GSK, we have supply chain planning in place for our medically critical HIV medicines to ensure we maintain reliable supply. At this time, we have adequate stock in place, and we will continue to review our plans to ensure supply is maintained at optimal levels and locations. In addition, our teams are empowered to investigate alternate supply routes to prevent delays or blockages when appropriate.
- Caring for our people and communities.
Our top priority is the welfare of employees, customers, partners and people living with HIV. Our teams around the world are working closely with our GSK partners to protect the well-being of our employees and the communities in which we operate. We have taken temporary measures to help reduce the risk of infection including suspending all non-essential business travel, supporting working remotely where possible and limiting visitors to our sites. In many countries, in line with local guidance, we have also directed our field teams to suspend all face-to-face interactions and refrain from visits to clinical offices, healthcare centers and other customer offices. Virtual interactions will be implemented to ensure we continue to provide support and ensure adequate supply and access to resources and our medicines.
We are also continually evaluating and responding to the impact COVID-19 is having on the planning and conduct of clinical trials. Our priority is the safety and well-being of those who support and participate in our trials and our employees and collaborators conducting clinical trials. As such, we are implementing proactive measures to protect the safety of study participants, staff at our clinical trial sites and our employees while ensuring regulatory compliance and the scientific integrity of our clinical trials.
- Contributing to the fight against COVID-19.
We are doing all that we can to contribute our scientific and medical expertise to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As an infectious disease company, we have doctors and clinicians who are dedicated to supporting and treating people living with HIV. We are enabling colleagues with bespoke expertise to volunteer to support the frontline response. We also continue to provide significant funding in the form of grants and donations. With our major shareholder GSK, we have joined the new collaborative research effort, the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which brings together pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions in the search for treatment options. We are also conducting exploratory research to see if our medicines may have the potential to demonstrate impact against the virus, although it is too early to speculate on any benefit.
GSK has also announced a new collaboration with CEPI to make their vaccine adjuvant technology available to scientists working on candidate vaccines to prevent the virus and announced a research collaboration with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, providing their pandemic vaccine adjuvant technology to scientists at Clover who will use their cutting-edge research to evaluate the combination of GSK’s adjuvant with its promising vaccine candidate, S-Trimer.
Finally, our Positive Action team is working closely with community-based partners to understand the implications on their work and continue to support them in the HIV response worldwide.
We are proud of our employees and their commitment to delivering on our mission during these challenging times.
The situation is changing rapidly, and we are closely monitoring this as we seek to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees, limit the spread of the disease, and continue to make our products available to all who need them. We will continue our vigilance in assessing the situation.