Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone who has been affected by COVID-19.
At Astellas, the health and well-being of our patients, employees and communities is our primary focus. With the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally, we have, as part of our mission as a pharmaceutical company, taken various actions and measures to contribute to securing the safety of patients and alleviating strain on healthcare resources.
We are continuing to monitor the situation, and will provide additional information and updates as necessary.
Maintaining Our Supply Chain
At present, the supply, manufacturing and distribution of Astellas products across our Established Markets (including Europe, Canada and Australia) is not impacted, and patients will continue to be able to receive all approved medicines, without interruption related to COVID-19.
Astellas remains focused on protecting our ability to manufacture medicines and on maintaining the quality and supply of our medicines for patients who need them, including therapies for vulnerable patients such as those who have undergone transplantation or are living with life-threatening conditions such as cancer.
"The way that our Supply Chain colleagues have responded to the crisis has been amazing. They are truly going above and beyond to protect the supply of our products,"
- Gerwin van Harskamp, Head of Logistics & Distribution
“Our COVID-19 response teams across the world continue to be in close contact with our supply chain colleagues, ensuring patients continue to receive their medication.”
Established Markets Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
Protecting Our Employees
We continue our efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 with restricted field-based activity as appropriate across the region.
Our employees across facilities and affiliates largely continue to work from home, with access to office working for business critical activity only. Restricted international and domestic travel continues with participation suspended for large external face-to-face events until further notice.
These actions are temporary, preventative steps to protect healthcare providers, patients, and our employees and communities against exposure to COVID-19. We continue to monitor and assess the COVID-19 situation and will update our guidance as necessary.
“This is an unprecedented situation for everyone and of particular concern to those with underlying health conditions - we are finding new ways to stay close to colleagues and the healthcare heroes in need of our help to ensure appropriate use of our medicines. Relying on our strong culture of collaboration and care, we are committed to delivering value for patients and remain open for questions or concerns through our Medical Information teams.”
SVP Medical Affairs,
Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
Assisting Research & Development Efforts
Astellas is proud to be among the 37 partners of the CARE Consortium that has been selected for funding by the Innovative Medicines Initiative. CARE (Corona Accelerated R&D in Europe) is the largest initiative in Europe addressing the challenges of COVID-19 and will run for five years.
The goal of the CARE consortium is to deliver treatments for the current COVID outbreak as well as future coronavirus outbreaks. To do this, it will identify candidates among existing drugs that could be effective as treatments for the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop new drugs specially designed to tackle the SARS-CoV-2 virus. After extensive testing in the laboratory, the project will advance the most promising drug candidates to clinical trials in humans.
Astellas is providing access to materials from our compounds library in Japan for investigation.
In an effort to help ensure patient safety and alleviate strain on healthcare resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, Astellas is implementing changes to our clinical trial operations.
Consistent with recently issued guidance from US and EU regulatory bodies, Astellas is assessing protocols and implementing measures to reduce the burden to healthcare systems while ensuring that patient safety can be maintained.
We will frequently reassess this approach, which applies to all interventional clinical trials led by Astellas and its subsidiaries and affiliates. Some clinical trials led by our collaboration partners may implement a different approach.
Astellas remains focused on protecting patients, employees and our business, while maintaining regulatory compliance and data integrity across clinical development programmes. As hospitals and clinics continue to address the needs posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that resources be focused on that challenge.
Supporting Our Communities
Astellas recognises the positive role that industry can play in supporting government and National Health Service efforts to respond to the increasing demands on healthcare systems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across our Established Markets (including Europe, Canada and Australia), Astellas is supporting multiple requests for support from national governments, public hospitals, patient groups and non-profit organisations.
- We are funding patient groups to expand and enhance their support to address challenges faced by patients presented by COVID-19, for example through helplines, membership surveys, telemedicine, online support and education and remote monitoring, for oncology and transplant patients.
- We continue to partner with patient organisations in the region to understand their needs and how the pandemic is impacting on the ground. Through active listening we are able to fully understand the need they are looking to address in a timely way and work to try to find solutions to support them.
- Astellas has provided funding and supply of PPE to ministries of health, public hospitals, patient groups and non-profit organisations working on the frontline to support the COVID-19 response.
- We have many employees who feel a need to help our communities at this time and we may have individuals whose skills would be beneficial, including qualified medics. We are therefore working to facilitate employee volunteering, wherever possible.
- We are actively investigating how we can adapt our external affairs projects to ensure that we support our stakeholders to address the short and long-term impact of COVID-19. For example, we are engaging with members of the Expert Group of the Let’s Talk Prostate Cancer campaign – a pan-European policy initiative to support people living with prostate cancer – to understand how COVID-19 will affect health systems, healthcare professionals and patients, and how we can bring these issues to the attention of European policymakers.
- We continue our support of EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) in our collaboration with the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency by providing weekly situational assessment and disseminating their latest requests and needs across our company. We are also collaborating with EFPIA in the detection, prevention and treatment response to COVID-19 through the different collaborations started since the start of the pandemic.
- The Astellas Global Health Foundation opened ‘Request for Proposal’ in April 2020 to select national and global humanitarian organisations for emergency funding in the fight against COVID-19 in countries where Astellas does not have presence. These efforts align with the Foundation’s standard operating procedures and policies.
“It is vital that we continue to engage with patient groups to ensure that patients and patient communities receive the support they need.”
Senior Director Patient Advocacy,
Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.
For further information about the COVID-19 pandemic, please see guidance from the World Health Organisation
If you have any questions relating to Astellas’ response to COVID-19, please contact us here
NON_2020_0046_APE. July 2020