TO HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, PATIENTS, PARTNERS AND OUR COMMUNITY
Updated May 2022
First and foremost, we would like to express our continued sincere sympathy to all the people around the world who have been adversely affected by the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. At Daiichi Sankyo, our top priority is to help protect the well-being and safety of our entire community – our patients, the healthcare providers who treat them, our employees, and our partners.
We are dedicated to delivering an uninterrupted supply of our medicines, ensuring that our clinical trials continue safely and appropriately, proactively studying potential vaccines to prevent COVID-19, and dedicating charitable funds and partnership to organizations in our communities and beyond. As such, we have taken measures to contribute to the overall effort to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and lessen the negative effects of this current pandemic.
Continuous Product Supply and Delivery
We know the diseases and conditions that are managed with our medicines will not wait for the COVID-19 situation to resolve. At the earliest signs of this virus, we immediately began taking necessary measures to ensure the supply and delivery of our products worldwide. To date, there has been no disruption to our supply chain or the delivery of our medicines to the people who need them due to the pandemic, in the U.S. or elsewhere. Nevertheless, we continue to monitor this situation closely.
Ongoing Clinical Trials
Daiichi Sankyo continues to partner with our CROs and clinical trial investigators to support their ability to meet trial protocol and ethics requirements during this unprecedented public health crisis. We experienced temporary suspensions of new patient study enrollment in some studies due to conditions in local areas. Some of these trials have resumed to enroll new patients while others remain suspended.
Our Company’s Efforts to Limit the Spread of the Virus that Causes COVID-19
Employees in the United States
At Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., all employees and contractors who work in our 211 Mt. Airy Road building in Basking Ridge, NJ began working from home in March 2020. At the same time, all field-based employees ceased all live, face-to-face interactions with customers, healthcare providers, payers and other business associates. These measures were in addition to travel restrictions we had already implemented for our associates over the previous several weeks, to support the global effort to limit exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Over time, guided by CDC recommendations, and local government requirements, Daiichi Sankyo in the U.S. gradually returned to live interactions and worked part time in our Basking Ridge office with protections in place when necessary, such as masking and social distancing. In cases where employees or our customers were not comfortable engaging live, we continued to support customers utilizing our approved virtual and remote capabilities and honoring all customer-site requirements for live visits.
On April 4, 2022, with the vast majority of U.S.-based employees fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, Daiichi Sankyo employees in the U.S. fully returned to live interactions. The company also rolled out a vaccine program requiring employees to be vaccinated, tested or have an approved exemption or accommodation.
COVID-19 Vaccine Development
By leveraging the best use of our past and present research properties, technologies and accumulated R&D knowledge, and in collaboration with external institutions, Daiichi Sankyo researchers in Japan are proactively involved in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
Daiichi Sankyo took part in the planning of a study entitled, “Fundamental Research on the Control of a Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV),” which is being conducted under the Japan Medical Research and Development Agency’s (AMED) Project for Innovative Medicines Research Promotion for the Suppression of Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease. In addition, utilizing novel nucleic acid delivery technology developed by Daiichi Sankyo, the company initiated a basic research project on a genetic (mRNA) vaccine. The technology focuses on forming lipid nanoparticle structures, stabilizing pharmaceutical active ingredients, and delivering nucleic acid into immune cells with the goal of inducing a more optimal immune response compared to conventional vaccine technology.
Based on promising lab testing, we set the development of this mRNA vaccine as one of our top priority projects. We initiated phase 1/2 clinical trial in March 2021 and phase 2 clinical study in November 2021 in Japan supported by the AMED’s “Development of vaccines for the novel coronavirus disease (Second Round)". In addition, we initiated trial for booster vaccination in January 2022 in Japan. We are proud to contribute to addressing the critical challenges in vaccine development with AMED, as part of a government-wide effort against the worldwide spread of COVID-19.
Supporting Those Fighting the Pandemic
To support responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Daiichi Sankyo affiliates have made financial donations to a variety of esteemed organizations that have dedicated efforts to fighting this pandemic. This includes a substantial donation from our parent company, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, in support of COVID-19 countermeasures led by the World Health Organization. We have also provided donations to Healthcare Ready, the Chinese Red Cross Association, the American Red Cross, Americares, as well as to various non-profit organizations dedicated to oncology patients globally.
The U.S.-based Daiichi Sankyo Group member, American Regent, Inc., was designated as an “essential business” by the governors of New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, which enables American Regent to continue producing sterile injectable products, including those used in hospitals and intensive care units. For more information, please visit American Regent’s Website here.
Supporting Our Employees and Associates
We are proud to have established a wide variety of support programs and activities to help our employees and consultants as we navigated through the first two years of the crisis. In the U.S., our Urgent Response Management Team partnered with our local leadership on the following programs, among others:
- Established wide flexibility for all employees to care for their families and loved ones
- Expanded upon our generous health benefits, including virtual health care, reimbursement for at-home fitness options, and more
- Offered seminars to help manage stress, optimize remote ways of working, cope with loss, support children through challenging times, and more
- Encouraged frequent check-ins for teams and providing the technology to do so
- Expanded our “Arigato” program, a program that allows employees to express appreciation for each other on behalf of a project, team or individual
- Facilitated discussion groups bringing parents of school-aged children together to discuss challenges, share solutions and form connections between colleagues in similar situations
- Allocated funds to allow employees to obtain needed items and establish proper ergonomics for working-from-home
- Updated our vacation policy to provide additional flexibility
- Introduced a temporary part-time working policy during COVID-19 for employees who want to take advantage of it for better work-life balance
Now that we have returned to live engagements, we have introduced a new program called “Flex+Connect”. This is a hybrid work location model allowing us to split our time between working virtually and working onsite or in live interactions. Our colleagues connect live when collaboration and in-person interactions are preferred or needed to produce better results on behalf of patients. At other times, our colleagues can flex and work at home.
We continue to be proud of, and amazed by, the generosity, creativity and resilience of our colleagues at Daiichi Sankyo and encourage them to continue bringing their thoughtful ideas and concerns forward as we progress through this pandemic.
At the Daiichi Sankyo Group, including Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., we will continue to strive to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, as well as provide timely, updated guidance related to our efforts, measures and initiatives.