Contributing to the Cure – How LSO Members are combating the spread of COVID-19

This week LSO put out a call to our members requesting insights on how companies are working together to combat the rapid spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. Below are some examples of how we, as a community are helping to control the outbreak.

Member Announcements

BDO: In response to the rapidly evolving threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has focused on creating a plan of action to minimize the potentially devastating health, economic, and social impact of this crisis.

Bayer: Donating medicines and additional financial aid worth a total of approximately EUR 1.5 million to support the population affected by the outbreak of the novel virus in China.

GlaxoSmithKline and CEPI: Announce collaboration to strengthen the global effort to develop a vaccine for the 2019-nCOV virus.

Innovative Medicines Canada: As the spread of Covid-19 continues, the quest for a vaccine is becoming more urgent and Canada’s research-based pharmaceutical companies are playing a vital role in developing solutions to treat those already infected by the virus and to prevent it from spreading further.

Innovative Medicines Canada: Statement on Canada’s Drug Supply

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has begun research into a vaccine, leveraging the same innovative technology used for the company’s investigational Ebola vaccine. Janssen, the pharmaceutical arm of J&J, has donated medicines for use in laboratory-based investigations to support efforts in finding a solution against COVID-19.

Lilly: AbCellera and Lilly to Co-develop Antibody Therapies for the Treatment of COVID-19

Medicago: Announces the production of a viable vaccine candidate for COVID-19 which is undergoing preclinical testing for safety and efficacy.

Merck: Established a team of scientists to assess internally available antiviral candidates and vaccine assets for potential to impact the COVID-19 and related viruses.

Pfizer:  Pfizer has outlined a five-point plan calling on the biopharmaceutical industry to join the company in committing to unprecedented collaboration to combat COVID-19.

Roche: Roche wins approval for Actemra for coronavirus complications

Sanofi: Company plans to announce a new COVID-19 initiative and is sharing its expertise and data acquired from other outbreaks with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is working with biotech businesses in developing a vaccine candidate for the virus.

Takeda:  Development of an experimental drug to treat people infected with COVID-19, as well as those at high risk, by using the blood of those who have recovered from the virus and the antibodies they developed in their immune systems to defeat the infection.

Government Resources

List of Essential Work Places: The Ontario government launched a portal of essential businesses and services to remain in operation during the outbreak of COVID-19 some of the relevant industries related to the life sciences are as follows; Supply Chains, Manufacturing and Production, Agriculture and Production, Research, Health Care, Business Regulators and Inspection.  Read more here.

Ontario Together: The provincial government releases a portal for business or organization that can provide medical products such as ventilators, swabs, masks, and eye protection. Visit:

Ontario Government: Ontario Urges Business to Join the Fight Against COVID-19. New Government Website Removes Barriers for Companies to Provide Essential Goods and Services

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and its impacts on the Canadian agricultural industry.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Information Portal:


Other Life Sciences News

CBC News: Canadian company set to crank out ventilators, awaiting the final go-ahead from Ottawa

***This document will be updated weekly.