Coronavirus Business Tracker: How The Private Sector Is Fighting The COVID-19 Pandemic – Forbes

Alain Mrieux, founder of BioMrieux.

Latest update: April 6, 2020, at 5:46 pm ET.

Businesses around the world are shifting into overdrive to help battle the coronavirus, providing everything from rubber gloves and ventilators to diagnostic tools and, hopefully soon, vaccines. While the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, large corporations and small businesses are developing creative solutions to halt the spread of the virus.

Just as automakers famously shifted to make tanks and planes during World War II, todays global giants LVMH, Ford and GE to name a few are retooling their production lines to help make everything from hand sanitizers to respirators. On the medical front, there are more than three dozen COVID-19 vaccines under development, a smart move considering that two out of every three vaccines for infectious diseases fail, according to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Forbes will continue to update this list of private companies and how they are stepping up to fight the COVID-19 pandemic:


Abbott Laboratories: Abbott Park, Illinois healthcare firm obtained emergency FDA authorization for its 5-minute coronavirus testing kit on March 27, with plans to start manufacturing 50,000 kits a day.

Alphabet: Through its healthcare arm Verily, Googles parent company launched a website where users can find nearby testing sites in four California counties.

Jeff Bezos.

Amazon: Jeff Bezos retail behemoth invested $20 million in the Amazon Web Services Diagnostic Initiative, which aims to speed up delivery of COVID-19 tests to the market.

BioMrieux: French biotech company, founded by billionaire Alain Mrieux,received emergency FDA approval for its subsidiarys new testing kit, which cuts testing times for the virus down to 45 minutes.

Carbon: California-based 3D printing unicorn backed by Russian tech investor Yuri Milner will soon be distributing testing swabs and face shields to hospitals in the Bay Area.

Cellex: North Carolina biopharma firms antibody-based test for COVID-19 received emergency approval from the FDA.

Cepheid: Sunnyvale, California molecular diagnostics company gained emergency FDA authorization for its new 45-minute COVID-19 testing kit.

Copan Diagnostics: Family-owned company located at the heart of Italys hard-hit Lombardy region makes diagnostic swabs for testing, airlifting 500,000 swabs to the U.S.

DiaSorin: Italian biotech company owned by billionaire Gustavo Denegri obtained emergency authorization from the FDA for its new 60-minute testing kit for COVID-19.

Ipsum Diagnostics: Sandy Springs, Georgia diagnostic company gained emergency FDA authorization for its COVID-19 testing kit.

Mammoth Biosciences: South San Francisco-based biotech startup, founded by three 30 Under 30 alums, prototyped a rapid test by using the gene-editing tool Crispr to detect the disease.

Mesa Biotech: San Diego biotech business obtained FDA approval for its new 30-minute testing kit for COVID-19.

Puritan Medical Products: Maine-based diagnostic maker, one of the worlds largest makers of diagnostic swabs along with Italys Copan Diagnostics, is reportedly increasing production to make one million COVID-19 testing swabs a week.

QIAGEN: Hilden, Germany-based molecular diagnostics firm received emergency approval from the FDA for its new COVID-19 testing kit.

Siemens Healthineers: The German conglomerates healthcare unit received FDA clearance for its blood gas analyzer, which helps doctors monitor the conditions of critical COVID-19 patients in ICUs.


AbbVie: North Chicago-based, publicly traded pharma firm is collaborating with authorities in the EU, the U.S. and China on experimental use of its HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir to treat COVID-19.

AIM Immunotech: Florida-based pharmaceutical company announced on March 9 it would begin experimental testing of its chronic fatigue syndrome drug rintatolimod as a treatment for COVID-19 in Japan, at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the University of Tokyo.

AlloVir: Houston-based cell and gene therapy company is collaborating with Baylor College of Medicine to discover and develop T-cell therapies to fight COVID-19.

Amgen: Thousand Oaks, California biotech outfit is working with Seattle-based Adaptive Technologies to develop antibody-based treatments for COVID-19.

Apeiron Biologics: Vienna-based biotech firm announced it would begin a trial of its immunotherapy treatment on 200 COVID-19 patients in Austria, Germany and Denmark.

Applied Therapeutics: New York-based biopharma outfit is conducting trials of its lung inflammation and cardiomyopathy drug, AT-001, on COVID-19 patients at several hospitals in New York City, including Mount Sinai.

Ascletis: Hangzhou, China pharmaceutical company announced results of clinical trials of its antiviral drug danoprevir on COVID-19 patients in China; the small-scale study found that danoprevir combined with ritonavir is safe and well tolerated in all patients.

Celltrion: South Korean healthcare firm is developing an antiviral treatment for COVID-19, with plans to start human trials in July; the company is also developing rapid self-testing kits that would provide results within fifteen to twenty minutes, expected by the summer.

Celularity: New Jersey-based therapeutics startup obtained FDA clearance to begin trials of a potential stem cell treatment against COVID-19.

Cocrystal Pharma: Bothell, Washington pharma outfit is developing antivirals to treat COVID-19 using patents it recently acquired from the Kansas State University Research Foundation.

CytoDyn: Vancouver, Washington biotech firm announced preliminary results from three days of testing its antiviral drug leronlimab on COVID-19 patients in New York; the company stated in a press release that test results from the first four patients suggests immunological benefit within three days following treatment with leronlimab.

Eli Lilly: Indianapolis pharma company is partnering with Vancouver-based biotech outfit AbCellera to develop antibody-based treatments for COVID-19.

Emergent BioSolutions: Maryland drugmaker is developing treatments derived from the antibodies found in the blood of people who tested positive for the disease.

EUSA Pharma: British pharmaceutical firm initiated trials of its siltuximab antibody treatment on COVID-19 patients at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, Italy; the company released initial data on April 1 showing that one third of patients experienced clinical improvement with reduced need for oxygen support and a further 43% saw their disease stabilise.

Fujifilm: Tokyo-based conglomerates pharmaceutical arm, Fujifilm Toyama Chemical, recently started phase 3 clinical trials of its flu drug favipiravir on COVID-19 patients in Japan and is accelerating production.

Gilead: The Californian biotech giant initiated clinical trials in March for its antiviral drug remdesivir on patients in the U.S.

Grifols: Spanish pharmaceutical company is working with the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a COVID-19 treatment using the blood plasma of former patients.

Harbour BioMed: Cambridge, Massachusetts biomedical firm announced a collaboration with New Yorks Mount Sinai Health System to develop new human antibodies to treat COVID-19.

Humanigen: Burlingame, California pharma company received emergency FDA approval for compassionate use of its antibody lenzilumab in COVID-19 patients.

I-Mab Biopharma: Shanghai-based biopharma outfit announced it would begin clinical trials of its TJM2 antibody treatment on COVID-19 patients in the United States, with plans to expand to other countries affected by the pandemic.

Innovation Pharmaceuticals: Wakefield, Massachusetts biopharma firm is researching the use of its drug brilacidin part of a category of investigational new drugs called defensin mimetics, which could have antimicrobial effects as both a treatment and a vaccine for COVID-19, in separate efforts with a major U.S. university and with the Department of Health and Human Services.

ISR Immune System Regulation: Swedish immunotherapy firms subsidiary, ISR HBV, is conducting toxicological studies to determine whether its Immunolid ISR50 treatment could be used against COVID-19.

Kamada: Israeli pharmaceutical company is working on an antibody-based treatment for COVID-19 using the blood plasma of patients who recovered from the disease.

Merck KGaA: Darmstadt, Germany-based pharma multinational donated a supply of its multiple sclerosis drug interferon beta-1a to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris for clinical trials on COVID-19 patients. The companys North American life sciences arm, MilliporeSigma, is supplying several vaccine efforts with reagents and other essential raw products for vaccine development.

Mesoblast: Australian medical firm is working with authorities in the U.S., Australia, China and Europe to evaluate the use of its remestemcel-L drug to treat COVID-19.

Mylan: Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical firm restarted production of hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to fight lupus, malaria and arthritis, at its West Virginia factory; the drug is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 in human trials in New York.

Partner Therapeutics: Lexington, Massachusetts biotech startup began clinical trials of its bone marrow stimulant drug sargramostim on COVID-19 patients at University Hospital Ghent in Belgium.

PharmaMar: Spanish drugmaker is preparing to start clinical trials of its multiple myeloma drug plitidepsin to treat COVID-19 patients at several hospitals in Spain.

Pluristem Therapeutics: Haifa, Israel-based medical company is developing a cell-based therapy to treat COVID-19, announcing on March 30 it had dosed three Israeli patients under a compassionate use program, with plans to enroll more.

Leonard Schleifer.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: Westchester, New York biotech outfit, run by billionaires Leonard Schleifer and George Yancopoulos, is conducting clinical trials of its rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab, developed with French firm Sanofi, on patients in New York.

Roche: Swiss pharma titan, part-owned by billionaire Maja Oeri, is testing its arthritis drug tocilizumab to treat patients in China and received FDA approval to begin U.S. trials.

Roivant Sciences: Swiss pharma company is working with U.S. authorities to begin trials of its antibody treatment, gimsilumab, on COVID-19 patients.

Synairgen: Southampton, UK-based drugmaker began clinical trials of its SNG001 treatment on COVID-19 patients on March 31.

Takeda: Japanese medical firm is working on hyperimmune therapy using blood plasma from previously infected patients.

Teva Pharmaceuticals: Pharma multinational is ramping up production of hydroxychloroquine, which is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 in human trials in New York.

Vir Biotechnology: The San Francisco-based firm is collaborating with Biogen and Chinese medical firm WuXi Biologics to manufacture antibodies that could treat the virus; on April 6, British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline purchased a stake in the company for $250 million, with the goal of collaborating on treatments for COVID-19.


AJ Vaccines: Danish vaccine developer is working on a COVID-19 vaccine that could hit the market in 2021.

Altimmune: The company is developing a novel intranasal vaccine for the coronavirus, making it one of three firms based in Gaithersburg, Maryland along with Emergent Biosolutions and Novavax thats working on treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Arcturus Therapeutics: San Diego-based vaccine maker is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with researchers at the Duke-National University of Singapore medical school in Singapore.

Biocad: Russian drug developer is researching a COVID-19 vaccine, with animal trials scheduled for late April.

Thomas and Andreas Struengmann.

BioNTech: German biotech firm backed by billionaire twins Thomas and Andreas Struengmann is working to develop a coronavirus vaccine in partnership with Pfizer and Fosun Pharma, chaired by billionaire Guo Guangchang.

CanSino Biologics: Tianjin, China-based pharma company isstarting clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, using the vaccine technology deployed to develop the Ebola vaccine.

Codagenix: Melville, New York biotech firm is teaming up with the Serum Institute of India to develop a live-attenuated COVID-19 vaccine, which uses a live but weakened form of the virus.

Dietmar Hopp.

CureVac: German firm, funded by billionaire Dietmar Hopp and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, received $87 million from the European Commission to scale up development of its coronavirus vaccine.

Dyadic: Jupiter, Florida company is collaborating with the Israel Institute for Biological Research on both treatment and a vaccine against COVID-19, using the firms gene expression platform.

Dynavax: Emeryville, California vaccine maker is working with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the University of Queensland to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

EpiVax: Providence-based immunology firm is working with the University of Georgia and Miramar, Florida biotech outfit Generex on separate COVID-19 vaccine efforts.

ExpreS2ion: Danish biotech company received a grant of nearly $1 million from the European Union to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

GeoVax: Atlanta-based medical company is collaborating with Wuhan-based BioVax to jointly produce a COVID-19 vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline: British pharma titan is partnering with CEPI and Chengdu, China-based Clover Pharmaceuticals to use its pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform which boosts the immune response in patients receiving a shot to speed up development of COVID-19 vaccines; on April 6, the company purchased a stake in San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology for $250 million, with the goal of collaborating on treatments for COVID-19.

Greffex: Houston-based genetic engineering firm is preparing to begin animal trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.

Heat Biologics: North Carolina biopharma company is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with the University of Miami.

iBio: Newark, Delaware biotech upstart is collaborating with Beijing-based CC-Pharming on the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Inovio: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania biotech business is the second company to start human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, announcing on April 6 it would begin testing in Philadelphia and Kansas City; the company also received $11.9 million in funding from the Department of Defense to rapidly produce the vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson: The companys pharma unit, Janssen, will start manufacturing its vaccine developed with the Department of Health and Human Services this month, with human trials set to begin by September and a public rollout hoped for early 2021. The company and the federal government are investing more than $1 billion in the vaccine effort.

Medicago: Quebec City-based biotech company received more than $7 million from the Canadian and Quebec governments to fund development of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna: Massachusetts biotech company, led by billionaire CEO Stphane Bancel, was the first tobegin human trials of its vaccine on March 16 in Seattle and could deploy it to health workers for emergency use by the fall.

Novavax: Maryland-based vaccine maker received $4 million in funding from CEPI to accelerate development of its vaccine candidates, with clinical trials expected in the late spring.

Sanofi: French medical firm is working with the federal government and Massachusetts-based Translate Bio to expedite its coronavirus vaccine, using technology previously used to develop one for SARS.

SK Group: South Korean conglomerates pharmaceutical arm, SK Bioscience, is conducting animal trials of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Sorrento Therapeutics: San Diego-based biotech firm is teaming up with Cambridge, MA gene therapy company SmartPharm Therapeutics to develop a gene-encoded COVID-19 vaccine; its also working with Chinese drugmaker Mabpharm on a fusion protein treatment for the disease.

Takis Biotech: Italian startup with just 25 employees is developing a vaccine with Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences, with plans to begin human trials before the end of the year.

Themis Bioscience: Austrian biotech firm is part of a group, with the Institut Pasteur and the University of Pittsburgh, which received $4.9 million in initial funding from CEPI to build a COVID-19 vaccine modeled on the vaccine for measles.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals: New York-based pharma outfit is researching a potential COVID-19 vaccine based on the virus that causes horsepox.

Vaxart: San Francisco vaccine manufacturer Vaxart is working with Emergent Biosolutions to develop and manufacture an oral vaccine that can be taken as a tablet.

Vaxil: Israeli biotech startup began preclinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

VBI Vaccines: Massachusetts-based vaccine developer is collaborating with the National Research Council of Canada on a pan-coronavirus vaccine, which would target COVID-19 as well as SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.

Protective Equipment And Sanitizer:

Anheuser-Busch InBev: The worlds largest beer company is making more than one million bottles of hand sanitizer from surplus alcohol at its breweries around the world.

Aria Designs: North Carolina furniture manufacturer received financing from CIT Group to procure millions of N95 surgical masks with its international suppliers.

Giorgio Armani.

Armani: Billionaire Giorgio Armanis luxury fashion brand converted all production at its Italian factories to manufacture single-use medical overalls on March 26.

Bacardi: The Bermuda-based spirits giant converted production at nine production facilities in Mexico, France, England, Italy, Scotland, Puerto Rico and the continental U.S. to make hand sanitizer.

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Coronavirus Business Tracker: How The Private Sector Is Fighting The COVID-19 Pandemic - Forbes

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