Basel, March 20, 2020 – Novartis announced today its commitment to donate up to 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Novartis is supporting ongoing clinical trial efforts, and will evaluate needs for additional clinical trials.
When supported for use in COVID-19 infected patients by regulatory authorities, Novartis intends to donate up to 130 million 200 mg doses by the end of May, including its current stock of 50 million 200 mg doses. The company is also exploring further scaling of capacity to increase supply and is committed to working with manufacturers around the world to meet global demand.
Novartis Sandoz division currently only holds a registration for hydroxychloroquine in the U.S., and will pursue appropriate regulatory authorizations from the U.S. FDA and the European Medicines Agency. Novartis will work with stakeholders including the World Health Organization to determine the best distribution of the medicine to ensure broad access to patients most in need of this medicine globally. The company aims to ensure that patients currently depending on this medicine are not impacted by the donation.
The commitment announced today builds on the previously announced commitments of a USD 20 million Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund, drug discovery collaboration efforts, support of clinical trials for existing Novartis medicines, and the Sandoz commitment to maintain stable prices on a basket of essential medicines that may help in the treatment of COVID-19.
Novartis intends to work closely with other manufacturers to scale up production of hydroxychloroquine as necessary to support global supply, and encourages industry, governments and international institutions to ensure adequate global supply of medications to treat COVID-19 patients.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “commits,” “to support,” “under evaluation,” “will,” “commitment,” “builds,” “encourages,” “intends,” “exploring,” “committed,” “may,” “work to,” “potential,” “can,” “may,” “could,” “expectations,” “investigational,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or discussions regarding Novartis commitment to donate up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, our intent to scale up manufacturing capacity to increase supply and work with other manufacturers to scale up production of hydroxychloroquine, a USD 20 million Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund, drug discovery collaboration efforts, support of clinical trials for existing Novartis medicines, and the Sandoz commitment to maintain stable prices on a basket of essential medicines that may help in the treatment of COVID-19. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that the activities and efforts described in this release will be achieved, or succeed, in the expected time frame, or at all. In particular, our expectations regarding such products and efforts could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions; including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.
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