As a deluge of news coverage helps everyone keep up with the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific community is asking: How can we move forward from this?
Today’s need for problem solving is immense, and those working on solutions to this global challenge must balance priorities to protect public health, operate safely despite disruption, and plan for recovery.
During the COVID-19 response effort, life science companies and other providers need to focus on the health and safety of employees while ensuring that their technologies, products, and services reach customers — biotech, pharma companies, and academic labs — around the world who rely on them.
Priority 1: Keeping employees safe. For those that continue to operate as essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace safety poses a challenging balance. MilliporeSigma, a global life science company, has employees across 59 manufacturing sites and 100 distribution centers who have continued work in staggered shifts with a focus on maintaining the high quality its customers have come to rely on.
In January, during the height of outbreak in China, a small crew of MilliporeSigma’s manufacturing employees stepped up to support the operation of more than 170 critical order lines. Local sales teams managed projects remotely to deliver essential products and services to customers working on molecule development.
These employees’ efforts are empowering critical research and development to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Priority 2: Meeting customer needs. The race to develop and produce treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 is dependent on a multitude of suppliers.
By mobilizing global task forces across its supply chain, MilliporeSigma supplied critical materials to more than 20 diagnostic companies and ensured the continuity of more than 80 programs dedicated to the development of vaccines and treatments by the end of March.
But meeting current needs is only one part of the equation — anticipating additional needs is another.
Priority 3: Accelerating global recovery. Alongside the push for vaccines and treatments, the scientists and researchers at work in this response effort need the learnings, resources, and technology to combat such a virus. Planning for recovery is critical to moving forward from the COVID-19 crisis.
While navigating this viral pandemic, collaboration to accelerate that response has already begun. MilliporeSigma has convened its Innovation Board — R&D leaders, biologists, chemists, data scientists, and engineers from across the organization — to contribute to the response with ideas to resolve the outbreak. The group is working to assemble an open session with scientific experts to share knowledge and build scenarios dedicated to fighting the virus.
With this balance of priorities, the global scientific community can fight the COVID-19 virus together and potentially find a treatment.
To learn more, visit www.sigmaaldrich.com/covid-19.