Bristol Myers Squibb Commits $300 Million to Health Equity and Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
Bristol Myers Squibb and the BMS Foundation are investing $300 million over the next five years to accelerate and sustain its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Specifically, the company will focus on five key areas to effect change across all aspects of the biopharmaceutical ecosystem, including comprehensive programs aimed at the following areas:
Strengthening health equity work across the business,
Increasing clinical trial diversity,
Expanding supplier diversity program
Expanding employee giving program, and
Increasing workforce diversity.
There will be a dedicated focus on raising disease awareness and education, increasing healthcare access, and improving health outcomes for medically under-served populations, including specific effort in expanding clinical trial diversity that will focus on building infrastructure in under-served areas in the United States and increasing the diversity of investigators through a fellowship program over five years. Additionally, Bristol Myers Squibb will spend $1 billion globally by 2025 with Black/African American and other diverse-owned businesses to help create jobs and generate positive economic impact in diverse communities.
“Our company has a long history of addressing health disparities as part of our overall mission to serve patients with serious disease," says Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chairman and CEO, Bristol Myers Squibb. “Now more than ever, we recognize the urgent need to do more to address serious gaps in care among the under-served in communities around the world. This commitment reflects our belief that investments toward achieving health equity, and increasing diversity and inclusion are opportunities to advance our vision of transforming patients’ lives through science."
The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize
In 2016, Astellas Pharma US launched the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize (Changing Cancer Care), a global challenge that funds the best non-treatment ideas to improve cancer care for patients, caregivers, and their loved ones. Now in its fifth year, the C3 Prize will award grants and resources totaling $200,000 to concepts that address everyday challenges facing people impacted by cancer. In particular this year, solutions that also ease the increased burden of COVID-19 on cancer care, as well as address health disparities affecting cancer patients, are encouraged.
The C3 Prize is open to all applicants through Sept. 28. Astellas will select the finalists in December 2020. Each finalist will participate in a pitch event in March 2021 to determine the prize winners. Additional applicant information is available at www.C3Prize.com.
“Over the past five years we have sourced hundreds of ideas from people who embody the Astellas Oncology mission to make every day better for those living with cancer," said Mark Reisenauer, senior VP, oncology business unit, Astellas US. “The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as existing health disparities, adds to the complexity of cancer care, creating additional emotional, financial and physical strain for people impacted by cancer, their loved ones and the medical professionals who care for them. The C3 Prize is uniquely designed to elicit the best ideas to address these challenges."
The C3 Prize is not just for complex solutions — ideas can be in the form of support tools, educational efforts, technology solutions, and beyond. Past winners include people who have lived with cancer, caregivers, healthcare providers, patient advocates, entrepreneurs and more. Their winning ideas have included a video game designed to keep pediatric patients active and informed, a specialized childcare network that provides stability and normalcy for families, and a first-of-its kind and easy-to-understand digital audio series about cancer.(PV)
The rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the way the industry is doing business. Here are some ways companies are solving for COVID-19.
Accenture Study: COVID-19 Spurs Better Engagement Between HCPs and Pharma
An Accenture survey found as a result of COVID-19, pharmaceutical companies are changing how they engage with healthcare providers, which is helping HCPs better serve patients. The survey, which was conducted in May and June across China, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., also found:
65% of all HCPs surveyed said they value self-administration methods for patients, such as auto-injectors or on-body devices, more than they did pre-pandemic.
62% said they value tools for remote monitoring of their patients at home more now than they did before COVID-19.
88% of the HCPs surveyed said they want to hear about new treatments.
61% said they are interacting with pharma sales reps more during COVID-19 than they did before.
43% of HCPs said they are currently restricting who can enter the office for professional reasons (i.e., no pharma reps).
28% of those with restrictions said they believe it is something they may implement permanently, and another 44% said they would keep the restrictions “for the foreseeable future."
“This feedback, in combination with patients saying they want to go into HCP offices less frequently even after the pandemic ends, suggests an increasing opportunity for pharma companies to be even more relevant to HCPs and patients’ changing needs," says Brad Michel, Accenture North America Life Sciences lead.
Brazil to Fund $360 Million for AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree that sets aside 1.9 billion reais ($356 U.S. million) in funds to purchase and eventually produce 100 million doses of the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University researchers.
AstraZeneca’s candidate is seen as the frontrunner in the global race to deliver an effective vaccine. AZ has also struck a deal to produce the vaccine in China.
Certara Launches International Registry
Certara has launched The International Registry of Healthcare Workers Exposed to COVID-19 (UNITY Global) that enables prevention policies to be informed by real-world data collected from 10,000 healthcare workers in low- and middle-income countries. UNITY Global was funded by a grant from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed up the response to the COVID-19 pandemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling up treatments. The objective is to assess the association between the use of preventive treatments and the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19. The registry launched in Pakistan on August 3 and will enroll 10,000 healthcare workers.
Additional countries preparing for launch include: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Certara is using advanced statistical modeling approaches to characterize the influence of these key factors on the risk of the infection among healthcare workers.
Johnson & Johnson and U.S. Sign Deal For 100 Million Vaccine Doses
Johnson & Johnson, through its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, has entered into an agreement with the U.S. government for the large-scale domestic manufacturing and delivery of 100 million doses of Janssen’s SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S following approval or Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.
BARDA, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, is committing over $1 billion for this agreement. The vaccine will be provided at a global nonprofit basis for emergency pandemic use. The U.S. may also purchase an additional 200 million doses of Ad26.COV2.S under a subsequent agreement. Johnson & Johnson aims to meet its goal to supply more than 1 billion doses globally through the course of 2021, provided the vaccine is safe and effective.
Novavax and Takeda Announce Collaboration in Japan
Novavax and Takeda Pharmaceutical are partnering for the development, manufacture, and commercialization of NVX‑CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID‑19 vaccine candidate, in Japan. Takeda anticipates manufacturing more than 250 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per year.
Pfizer and Gilead Agree to Manufacture Remdesivir
Pfizer has entered into a multi-year agreement with Gilead Sciences to manufacture and supply Gilead’s remdesivir, as one of multiple external manufacturing organizations supporting efforts to scale up the supply of the investigational treatment for COVID-19.
In March, Pfizer launched a five-point plan, which called on all members of the innovation ecosystem — from large pharmaceutical companies to the smallest of biotech companies, from government agencies to academic institutions — to commit to work together to address the COVID-19 crisis.
Women of the Week Podcast Series
Sponsored by Medable
Mary Szela, CEO and President, TriSalus Life Sciences
Susanne Munksted, Chief Precision Officer, Diaceutics
Holly Kordasiewicz, Ph.D., VP of Neurology Research, Ionis Pharmaceuticals
Michelle Longmire, M.D., Founder and CEO, Medable
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Oreola Donini, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Soligenix Inc.
Rebecca Kusko, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer, Immuneering Corp.
Carol Addy, M.D., CMO, GenFit
Shobha Parthasarathi, Ph.D., VP External Innovation & New Ventures, Xontogeny
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Elizabeth Jeffords, Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer, Alkahest
Kimberly Stephens, Chief Financial Officer, Appili Therapeutics Inc.
Uma Sinha, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, BridgeBio
Dawn Fallon, Practice Lead, Health, Makovsky
Kate Cronin, President, Ogilvy Health
Sponsored by Syneos Health
Barbara Enger, Associate VP, Clinical Science, Signant Health
Teri Loxam, Chief Financial Officer, SQZ Biotech
Linda Marbán, Ph.D., President, CEO, and Co-Founder, Capricor Inc.
Maria Tender, Head of Strategy, Syneos Health
PharmaVOICE 100 News
Joe DePinto Named CCO of Vineti
Joe DePinto has joined Vineti Inc., a provider of a leading digital platform of record for personalized therapeutics, as its new chief commercial officer. As a proven biotech and pharma executive with more than 28 years of experience, including a pioneering role in cell therapy, Mr. DePinto brings deep commercialization expertise to Vineti’s goal of industrializing personalized therapeutics, such as CAR-T cell therapies. Most recently, he directed two key acquisitions for Cardinal Health, oversaw the company’s expansion into new therapeutic categories, and led critical operational expansions.
Mr. DePinto is a 2017 PharmaVOICE 100.
Lori Grant named Klick Health’s CEO
Lori Grant takes on the role of CEO of Klick Health, a move that solidifies the agency’s continuing “mission to safely scale the magic."
Ms. Grant has played an integral role in Klick Health’s exponential growth and success for the past 13 years — the last six years as president, organically growing into the Klick Health CEO role. She is an exceptional leader with more than 30 years of experience in life sciences. Despite the challenges related to COVID-19, Ms. Grant says the Klickster team is treating 2020 as a year of possibilities instead of a year of pause, which includes new hires, advancements, and investments.
Leerom Segal, who continues as chairman and CEO of the Klick Group, unveiled the launch of Klick Consulting, which has a specific focus on commercial solutions with real-world applications and a team that embraces the mantra of science at the speed of business; and Klick Ventures, a health innovation-focused venture group, which builds on more than two decades of partnering with life-sciences companies to commercialize their businesses successfully.
Ms. Grant is a 2016 PharmaVOICE 100.
Mr. Segal is a PharmaVOICE Red Jacket Honoree.
Matt McNally Joins the Ad Council
Matt McNally, CEO of Outcome Health, a healthcare innovation company reinventing point of care to facilitate better outcomes for patients, their loved ones, and healthcare professionals, has been named to the board of directors of the Ad Council. The Ad Council endeavors to improve the lives of all Americans through public service advertising.
Mr. McNally is a PharmaVOICE Red Jacket honoree.
PharmaVOICE @Industry Events
Intellus Worldwide, a nonprofit organization for healthcare insights and analytics, including global manufacturers and service providers within pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device and diagnostics, held its virtual conference in July with 23 sessions and 30 booths, is accepting registrations for its fall vForum. The four-day, 8-part series will explore: trends and future study; AI: how, when, and how to know; innovation success stories: telehealth/digital engagement: Patient & HCP Perspective; diversity/inclusion; policy changes impacting MR & outcome of market trends.
For more information, visit https://www.intellus.org/Events-Webinars/Fall-vForum
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