Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Washington Post: Upbeat news on a possible coronavirus treatment powers U.S. stocks, lifting Dow more than 500 points

Small but significant scientific advances against covid-19 sent stocks bursting upward Wednesday, all but ignoring sobering data that shows a U.S. economy in paralysis.

Stocks are on pace for one of their best months in decades as the United States ramps up coronavirus testing and states take steps to emerge from the weeks-long lockdown.

Wednesday’s rally picked up steam after Gilead Sciences reported “positive data” coming from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ clinical trial of its investigational remdesivir treatment for covid-19. The company said “the trial has met its primary endpoint.”

Read entire article HERE.

Keeping Trade Open: Where Do US Medical Products Really Come From?

The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted a heavy toll on the United States in lost lives and mounting economic hardship. While our resilience is unquestionable, the pandemic has laid bare the inadequacies of some aspects of U.S. preparedness, and policy changes are clearly warranted.

But will we embrace the right solutions? 

A number of lawmakers have introduced legislation to address some shortcomings. Several of these proposals proceed from the idea that the United States is dangerously dependent on Chinese medical products. While some of these bills adopt a deliberative approach, others call for quick action to compel firms to “reshore” production of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

Before policymakers charge ahead, it’s imperative that we start by identifying the real problems — and then devise the right solutions. 

Read entire article HERE.

LMI: Produserer vaksiner på harde livet

– Vi har fått inn 18 500 nye doser av pneumokokkvaksinen vår til Norge, etter å ha satt alle mann på dekk for å få det til.

I forbindelse med COVID-19 har Folkehelseinstituttet understreket sin anbefaling om at eldre og personer med nedsatt immunforsvar bør ta vaksine mot lungebetennelse. Mange nordmenn ønsket å følge rådet, og da gikk MSD nesten tom.

– Den plutselige enorme etterspørselen førte til en mangelsituasjon. Så vi satte alle mann på dekk, aksellererte vår supply, og i samarbeidet med Legemiddelverket klarte vi å skaffe nesten 20 000 vaksinedoser – da i utenlandske pakninger – som kom i forrige uke, sier Heirman.

Les hele saken HER.

Press Release: Norway to play leading role in international coronavirus summit

The European Commission, under its President, Ursula von der Leyen, is to hold a virtual donor conference to mobilise political and financial support for efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Global Response Summit will be held on 4 May, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg will be one of the co-chairs.

‘We welcome the European Commission’s initiative to hold a major international conference to mobilise support for the development of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19. Given our longstanding engagement in the area of global health, it is only natural for Norway to do its part when we are asked to co-chair a conference of this kind,’ Ms Solberg said.

The intention is for most of the funding that is raised to be used for the development of vaccines, the best possible treatments and rapid, wide-ranging diagnostic techniques for COVID-19. Norway will give priority to vaccine development and distribution through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, but will also seek to mobilise international support for cooperation to develop better treatments and testing.

Norway was involved in the establishment of both CEPI and Gavi, and since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak has been working actively at the international level to secure increased funding for CEPI’s work on COVID-19 vaccines. Norway considers it vital to ensure that any vaccine that is developed is distributed fairly, including to developing countries, and that this work is carried out under the leadership of the World Health Organization.

See original press release HERE.

The Hill: Race for coronavirus vaccine faces early challenges

Drug companies are racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine at breakneck speed, but they’re quickly encountering challenges with clinical trials, production capacity and governmental approval.

The world is pinning its hopes on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Public health experts say that until a vaccine is successfully deployed, it will be difficult to completely lift the social distancing restrictions that have devastated the global economy.

Normally, vaccines often take five to 10 years to develop. Limited human trials of some vaccine candidates are already underway, and experts say there is reason for optimism.

Read entire article HERE.

AmChams in Europe: Solidarity, Coordination & Action

The world is facing an extraordinary challenge from the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic poses a severe threat to the health and wellbeing of citizens and the global economy with harmful consequences for all parts of society.

AmChams in Europe, the umbrella organization for 45 AmChams from 43 countries across Europe and Eurasia, fully support governments’ efforts to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its effects. The mobilization of resources has been unprecedented, and we need continued leadership to address the impact of the crisis on society. We call on our governments to focus on:

1) Solidarity – We are all in this together. Increased sharing of resources and information among our countries and globally is critical to address the pandemic successfully. Now is the time to demonstrate the values we share in Europe, across the Atlantic and with the rest of the global community.

2) Coordination – Governments need to enhance coordination across borders and within alliances to ensure a consistent and harmonized approach to the crisis but also to start setting the foundations of the economic recovery. Cooperation at the regional and global levels is vital as governments put together initiatives to protect our economies, and ultimately the livelihood of citizens.

3) Action – We need bold action to ensure access to critical goods and services we all depend on. In particular, the movement of goods across borders must be unimpeded. Much-needed goods rely on integrated supply-chains for production before they can be delivered to individuals and businesses.

AmChams in Europe are committed to doing all we can do to mobilize our member companies and our networks to support the economic recovery. We are coordinating with our colleagues across the European region and globally to put forward recommendations for a strong and sound economic recovery for the prosperity and wellbeing of all our citizens and businesses.

About AmChams in Europe
AmChams in Europe serves as the umbrella organization for 45 American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) from 43 countries throughout Europe and Eurasia. In Europe we represent the interests of more than 17,000 American and European companies employing 20 million workers and accounting for more than $1.1 trillion in investment on both sides of
the Atlantic. As the bilateral voice of American and European companies, AmChams in Europe works to communicate the importance of the transatlantic economy in both Europe and the United States.

For a full list of members, please see below or click here.

AmChams in Europe
AmCham Albania
AmCham Armenia
AmCham Austria
AmCham Azerbaijan
AmCham Belgium
AmCham Bosnia and Herzegovina
AmCham Bulgaria
AmCham Croatia
AmCham Cyprus
AmCham Denmark
AmCham Estonia
AmCham to the European Union
AmCham Finland
AmCham France
AmCham Georgia
AmCham Germany
AmCham Gibraltar
AmCham Greece
AmCham Hungary
AmCham Ireland
AmCham Israel
AmCham Italy
AmCham Kosovo
AmCham Latvia
AmCham Lithuania
AmCham Luxembourg
AmCham Macedonia
AmCham Malta
AmCham Moldova
AmCham Montenegro
AmCham the Netherlands
AmCham Norway
AmCham Poland
AmCham Romania
AmCham Russia
AmCham Serbia
AmCham Slovak Republic
AmCham Slovenia
AmCham Spain
AmCham Sweden
AmCham Switzerland
AmCham Turkey (ABFT)
AmCham Turkey (TABA)
AmCham Ukraine
British American Business

Download statement HERE.

Harvard Business Review: Assessing Coronavirus’s Impact on Your Business Model

When a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic hits an organization, its executives need to assess the impact on their business model, both immediately and over the long term. A framework we’ve developed over a decade of teaching can help executives identify the business-model risks and opportunities that the crisis presents.

To start, you’ll look at the four core dimensions of your business model: customers, value propositions, value demonstrations, and capabilities. Second, you’ll analyze the connections between these dimensions. Third, you’ll define realistic objectives for your organization, during and after the crisis. (You may want to consider different objectives for different crisis scenarios,  such as fast crisis recovery vs. long lockdown period.)

Read entire article HERE.

Press Release: Roche develops new serology test to detect COVID-19 antibodies

  • The new Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test can support the detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in patients who have been exposed to the virus which causes COVID-19
  • The detection of these antibodies could help indicate if a person has gained immunity against the virus and inform treatment decisions
  • Roche aims to have this test available by early May, in countries accepting the CE mark1 and is actively working with the US Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorisation2

Basel, 17 April 2020 – Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced the development and upcoming launch of its Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test to detect antibodies in people who have been exposed to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the COVID-19 disease.

Antibody testing is central to help identify people who have been infected by the virus, especially those who may have been infected but did not display symptoms.³ Additionally, the test can support priority screening of high risk groups, such as healthcare workers, food supply workers who might already have developed a certain level of immunity and can continue serving and/or return to work. Once we understand more about the immunity of COVID-19, it could also help society return faster to normality.

Severin Schwan, CEO Roche Group: “Following the launch of our high-volume PCR test in mid-March to detect active infection of the disease, we are now going to launch a new antibody test in early May. Every reliable test on the market serves its purpose for healthcare systems to help us overcome this pandemic. Roche is collaborating closely with health authorities and ramping up production to ensure fast availability of the test globally.”

“Roche is deeply committed to supporting the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. “Timely availability and fast access to reliable, high quality tests are essential for healthcare systems. The antibody test is an important next step in the fight against COVID-19. Roche’s antibody test can be quickly scaled and made broadly available around the world as our instrument infrastructure is already in place.”

The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay is an in vitro test, using human serum and plasma drawn from a blood sample, to detect antibodies and determine the body’s immune reaction to SARS-CoV-2. The test may be used in epidemiological research to help better understand the spread of the disease and may also be used together with molecular tests to aid in the diagnosis of suspected COVID-19 patients. Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s cobas e analysers, which are widely available in laboratories around the world.

Roche aims to have the antibody test available by early May in countries accepting the CE mark and is actively working with the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorisation. Roche is planning on an accelerated ramp up of monthly production to high double-digit million tests by June and will further scale up production as fast as possible.

About SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus)
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a new strain which has not previously been identified in humans.

Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and fever. In more severe cases, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death can occur.

To control the spread of the infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

About Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test
Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 is an immunoassay for the in vitro detection of antibodies (including IgG) to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human serum and plasma. Through a blood sample, the test can detect antibodies to the coronavirus, which could signal whether a person has been already infected and potentially developed immunity to the virus. Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s cobas e analysers which are widely available around the world. These fully-automated systems can provide SARS-CoV-2 test results in approximately 18 minutes, with a test throughput of up to 300 tests/hour, depending on the analyser.⁴

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the eleventh consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2019 employed about 98,000 people worldwide. In 2019, Roche invested CHF 11.7 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 61.5 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

[1] CE-IVD marking is granted  through completion of a comprehensive technical validation and self declaration under the European Directive for In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices.
[2] The Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against CBRN threats by facilitating the availability and use of medical countermeasures needed during public health emergencies https://www.fda.gov/home
[3] Thus, 29 of the 33 patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 at admission (87.9%) had no symptoms of Covid-19 at presentation – https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2009316
[4] Full specifications of the Roche immunoassay systems, including throughput, can be found on our diagnostics.roche website

Roche Group Media Relations
Phone: +41 61 688 8888 / e-mail: media.relations@roche.com
– Nicolas Dunant (Head)
– Patrick Barth
– Daniel Grotzky
– Karsten Kleine
– Nathalie Meetz
– Barbara von Schnurbein

See original press release HERE

Forbes: Norway Relaxes Coronavirus Restrictions, But Event Ban Continues

The Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has announced that several of the country’s emergency measures will be relaxed after Easter.

Kindergartens will open again from April 20, while schools for the youngest age groups will open one week later. The reopening of schools for older children will be assessed. Some businesses forced to close because of the regulations—including hair salons—will be permitted to reopen in the course of April.

The controversial ban on staying in cabins and other leisure properties outside of a person’s home municipality will be lifted from April 20. While an overnight stay in a cabin will no longer be a criminal offence, avoiding leisure travel remains a national recommendation.

Read entire article HERE.

Press Release: The Norwegian Minister of Defence wants to meet with the defence industry to discuss measures of support

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence has implemented measures and is continuously assessing the need for new measures to support the national defence industry.

Invasive measures to limit the spread of covid-19 infection is a challenge to the supply security across all sectors of the Norwegian society, including the defence industry.

– I want to keep a close dialogue and meet with representatives from the defence industry in the very near future to assess the situation and discuss possible further measures, says Norwegian Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.

Norwegian authorities are therefore actively targeting efforts to ensure that all critical infrastructure, including the defence sector, can maintain close to normal production levels, which again shores up security of supply both nationally and vis-à-vis allies.

– Norwegian defence industry is essential to support the operations of the Norwegian Armed Forces. In addition, Norwegian defence companies provide important contributions to allied forces and cooperate closely with their foreign counterparts, especially in the US, with regard to development and production of defence materiel. Both we and our allies depend on Norwegian defence industry for our operations and for collective security, says Bakke-Jensen.

The United States and Norway have previously concluded an agreement on security of supply related to defence (Security of Supply Arrangement) which a number of Norwegian defence companies have joined.

– If needed, the Ministry of Defence will initiate measures, within the framework of this agreement, that will contribute to ensure that Norwegian suppliers are able to fulfil their commitments to US customers and partners, the Minister of Defence underlines.

See original press release HERE.