The current COVID-19 pandemic has presented a substantial public health and economic challenge around the world. As governments, businesses and other organizations take unprecedented measures to help mitigate the spread of the outbreak, we want to reinforce our deep commitment to our employees, our patients and the communities where we live and work.
That’s why we have mobilized all our resources to address urgent needs brought on by COVID-19, expand testing and help ease the burden of health systems across Massachusetts, North Carolina, the U.S. and across the globe. Consistent with our commitment, the Biogen Foundation has committed $10 million to support global response efforts and communities around the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also take the vital role we play in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of our medicines to patients very seriously.
“These are challenging times,” said Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos. “But one thing is clear: we must support our community and those most in need. We can – and will – get through this together.”
In Massachusetts, Biogen provided medical equipment and supplies to Partners HealthCare, one of the largest providers of healthcare services in the Boston area, with the goal of improving the diagnostic process for those tested for COVID-19 in the area. Biogen has also been supporting Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital as they work on the front line to treat and contain the virus.
As food insecurity becomes a growing problem, the Biogen Foundation has provided additional support to our communities, such as the Greater Boston Food Bank, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and Feeding America, as well as other organizations that help those in need. The donation has supported 46 nonprofit organizations so far, including 14 in Massachusetts, 12 in North Carolina, 2 across the broader United States, 1 internationally (IMC) and 17 to affiliates in 15 countries.
We’re also collaborating with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Partners HealthCare to build and share a COVID-19 biobank. The biobank will host a large collection of de-identified biological and medical data for scientists to study and search for potential vaccines and treatments. Biogen will help employees who wish to volunteer connect with the project. The volunteers are among the first people in Massachusetts to be diagnosed with and recover from COVID-19, as well as close contacts of those individuals, including people who were not tested or who may not have had symptoms.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very direct, very personal impact on our Biogen community,” said Maha Radhakrishnan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Biogen. “We are uniquely positioned to contribute to advancing COVID-19 science in an organized and deliberate way so we can all gain a better understanding of this virus. Many Biogen colleagues have been eager to find ways to help others during this pandemic, and it is our hope that this biobank will provide hope and essential information during this difficult time.”
We are also pursuing a process development and manufacturing collaboration with Vir Biotechnology, Inc., which is developing potential antibody therapies for COVID-19.
Our Biogen Healthcare Solutions (BHS) team has also made it a top priority to ensure that the global users for Aby and Cleo (our global MS applications) and Neurodiem (an online, independent platform that aggregates high-quality scientific content in neurology ) are receiving current, relevant content relating to COVID-19. For healthcare providers and patients around the world, COVID-19 has sparked many questions, concerns, and the need for quality information. Creating these updates enables healthcare providers and neurologists to have information at their fingertips, and also allows for more time to care for patients. Specifically, the Neurodiem app now provides the following:
- A dedicated section on COVID-19, featuring relevant updates and expert commentary with a special focus on neuroscience
- Continuous congress coverage through summaries and expert commentary when possible and despite international conference cancellations or virtual sessions
Learn more about Aby and Cleo and Neurodiem.
Learn more about our COVID-19 efforts at the Biogen COVID-19 Information Center.