• Our Efforts Against the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Our Efforts Against the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Updated: June 20, 2022

We express our deepest sorrow for the people who passed away due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We also extend our sincerest condolences to the bereaved families, and our heartfelt sympathies to those who are suffering from or affected by the disease. We would like to show greatest respect and gratitude to healthcare professionals who are trying hard on the medical frontline. We sincerely hope for an end to the pandemic as soon as possible.

In this unprecedented situation, we are addressing stable supply of our pharmaceutical products, minimization of impact on our research and development activities, and support for research on COVID-19 in addition to supporting activities for preventing the spread of COVID-19. We also take measures to ensure the safety and health of our stakeholders, including our employees and their families, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Our efforts against COVID-19

1.Stable supply of pharmaceutical products

2.Impacts on our R&D activities

3.Research support activities

4.Support activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19

5.Measures to prevent the spread of infection inside and outside the company

1.Stable supply of pharmaceutical products

  • At the moment, we do not have any immediate hindrance to product supply caused by COVID-19.
  • We are considering implementing infection control measures for our employees at our own plants and distribution centers, and minimizing the impact when an infected person is detected. We will continue to monitor changes in the situation and take necessary actions.
  • From the recognition of stable supply of the pharmaceutical products that is our social mission, we formulate the business continuity plan (BCP) assuming the occurrence of a severe earthquake and the epidemic of new influenza. Moreover, in order to strengthen the ability to deal promptly with risks such as disaster, we prepare rules and manuals necessary for handling respective potential risks, and carry out educational activities to our employees through training exercises and seminars.

    (Reference) Our Initiatives to Risk Management https://www.sumitomo-pharma.com/profile/risk_management/

2.Impacts on our R&D activities

  • We consider the safety of patients and the burden on medical institutions in accordance with the guidance on clinical study management issued by the regulatory authorities in each region, and we conduct clinical studies in cooperation with the investigators and Contract Research Organization (CRO).
  • Although some studies have suspended new facility entry or new patient enrollment, it is being resumed carefully.
  • Considering the safety of patients, we provide pre-mailing of investigational drugs for patients who cannot visit medical institutions.
  • We and our group companies in Japan and overseas will continue to closely monitor all clinical studies we carry out and take appropriate responses.

3.Research support activities

  • We donated 10 million yen to the Kitasato Institute's Project for COVID-19, which was launched in March 2020 by the Kitasato Institute. This project aims to isolate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from specimens of patients affected by COVID-19, to rapidly identify clinical candidates for the treatment of this novel coronavirus infection through a large-scale screening of approved pharmaceuticals and to save patients' lives.
    https://www.sumitomo-pharma.com/ir/news/2020/20000331.html (press release dated March 31, 2020)
  • We provided drug substances in response to a request from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, to cooperate for the "Basic Screening Plan for Drugs for Coronavirus Disease 2019" at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan.
  • We participate, as a collaborator, in "COVID-19 Research Database", a consortium that investigates measures against COVID-19. The consortium aims to provide researchers with free access to medical information database to support researches on COVID-19 in the U.S. Datavant, Inc., a subsidiary of our strategic partner Roivant Sciences Ltd., is also a member of the consortium. Access the URL below for detail of the consortium.
    https://covid19researchdatabase.org/ (COVID-19 Research Database website)

4.Support activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19

(1) Support activities in Japan

  • We donated 20,000 face shields to 15 prefectures mainly consisting of specified hazard prefectures in cooperation with a general plastic manufacturer, Kawamura Kako Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Ibaraki city, Osaka) to support healthcare professionals who test and treat patients suffered from COVID-19. In addition, we produced another 20,000 face shields with donations of more than 10 million yen from our domestic group employees and donated them to 36 prefectures.
  • We consigned production of masks and medical gowns to Chinese manufacturers through Sumitomo Pharma (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., our subsidiary in China, procure 200,000 masks and 10,000 medical gowns, and donated them to local governments in Japan.
    https://www.sumitomo-pharma.com/ir/news/2020/20200428-1.html (press release dated April 28,2020)
  • Since the start of Novel Coronavirus vaccination at the Osaka City's Large-Scale Vaccination Center, we cooperated with the Osaka Pharmaceutical Association in providing assistance for vaccination.
    We recruited employees who were qualified as pharmacists and willing to support the activities at the vaccination center, and those employees cooperated in the activities with the Osaka Pharmaceutical Association using our volunteer leave system.
    https://www.sumitomo-pharma.co.jp/ir/news/2021/20210618.html (press release dated June 18,2021)(only available in Japanese)

(2) Overseas support activities

In the North America

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., our subsidiary in the U.S., provided a monetary donation for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Office of Emergency Management in New Jersey. Sunovion has partnered with its food service vendor to provide food donations and financial support to several community organizations. In Canada, Sunovion has joined forces with Innovative Medicines Canada to set up a COVID-19 fund.

In China

Sumitomo Pharma (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., our subsidiary in China, donated RMB 1 million (approximately JPY 15 million) to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation for the prevention and containment of pneumonia caused by infection with the novel coronavirus.
https://www.sumitomo-pharma.com/ir/news/2020/20190129.html (press release dated January 29, 2020)

We will update support activities we and our related subsidiaries have provided.

5.Measures to prevent the spread of infection inside and outside the company

We established the "COVID-19 Countermeasure Headquarters" on February 15, 2020 and are taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The initiatives in Japan are as follows.

(1) Measures outside the company

  • When we hold an events (study sessions, lectures, etc.) by face-to-face, we thoroughly implement infection prevention measures.
  • When we have guests, we ask them to take temperature measurements, sanitize hands with alcohol, and wear masks.
  • We only visit medical institutions that permit us to visit after taking infection prevention measures and carry out the minimum activities. We are also utilizing methods such as online interviews through a web conference system.

(2) Measures for our employees

  • Although restrictions on overseas and domestic business trips have been relaxed, remote alternatives are being considered with priority.
  • We continue to permit our employees to work from home. When our employees come into the office, we take measures to prevent the spread of infection.
  • We ask our employees to stay at home for a certain period if they or their family members living together are infected with the novel coronavirus.
  • We ask our employees to stay at home for a certain period if they are in poor physical condition such as fever.

Sumitomo Pharma and our group companies in Japan and overseas will continue to collect information on COVID-19 from all sides, and will promptly take necessary actions in cooperation with related organizations.