Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
From Paul Kirchgraber, MD, CEO, Covance
In the fight against COVID-19, we believe that patients can’t wait, and neither can we. We’re here to partner with you to accelerate much needed treatment options across the world. We can offer a unique combination of solutions that blend Covance and LabCorp’s drug development and diagnostic capabilities. To best support your path ahead in this rapidly evolving environment, here’s how we can work together to help you achieve your goals and ultimately meet patients’ urgent needs:
- Together, we can deliver unprecedented acceleration: Every day counts for a new COVID-19 assay, vaccine or therapeutic. Accelerating your development and reaching patients faster requires a highly coordinated team. We’ve mobilized dedicated COVID-19 Response Teams to help connect you to the right people and regulatory authorities to expedite your development.
- Together, we can create a highly collaborative partnership: As an example, a unique partnership approach has already proven successful with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics testing an antiviral drug. Our COVID-19 Response Teams mapped out this client’s clinical development program, connected with regulatory authorities, aligned the drug supply and recruited volunteers for the First-in-Human study – in just 14 business days. This level of speed and collaboration is truly amazing and needed in the relentless pursuit of a breakthrough.
- Together, we can seamlessly integrate cross-functional expertise for your end-to-end development: Each handoff point in your process can add risk and impact your timeline. We’re here to provide rapid transition between phases, from discovery and preclinical to development and commercialization. Whether you need support with molecule screening, formulation, assay development, patient recruitment or management of clinical trials, you can extend your team’s scientific and medical expertise and generate new insights to make more informed decisions. No other organization can offer this breadth of coordinated services or match the global reach of Covance and LabCorp.
- Together, we can reach patients directly and enable focused recruiting with proprietary LabCorp patient data: Flexibility, nimbleness and unparalleled patient access are essential for COVID-19 testing and drug development. Our proprietary LabCorp data can help you anticipate the next hot spot, refine your recruitment strategies in near real time and provide enhanced visibility into current COVID-19 test patterns and patient clusters. You can also improve your patient recruitment efforts with Patient Direct, our unique database of consented, pre-screened patients who meet specific inclusion/exclusion criteria, drawn from LabCorp testing of approximately 20% of the people who have been tested for COVID-19 in the U.S. In addition to faster recruitment, LabCorp and Ciox Health Real World Data division are working closely on a comprehensive U.S.-based COVID-19 patient data registry. The registry will store curated, HIPAA-compliant de-identified data sets and can be used to gain rapid insights from real-world data to enhance epidemiological and clinical research and ultimately improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients.
- Together, we can apply patient-centric practices to enhance safety in a challenging trial setting: Working in an intensive care unit (ICU) is inherently difficult due to the complexities of patients’ conditions and the need to ensure the safety of both patient and healthcare providers. You can apply our past experience running challenging pneumonia studies with intubated patients and designing protocols that are optimized for patient recruitment and retention. Outside of the ICU, we can also help you employ decentralized trial solutions, such as eConsent, ePRO, eCOA and telemedicine technology, that together with our U.S.-based patient services centers and global home health services, can reduce the frequency of on-site visits and gather valuable patient data to inform decision making.
The combined, comprehensive support that Covance and LabCorp can offer has never been more important. Spanning discovery to diagnosis to delivery, we’re on a mission to increase your speed to market. We’re all in this together – and we’re fighting this pandemic to make a difference for patients. Patients can’t wait. Neither can we.
From Paul Kirchgraber, MD, CEO, Covance
These are challenging times in every country around the world. We recognize that our clients and partners are working across the globe adapting to new information and new realities. Speaking on behalf of my leadership team, I am proud of how Covance – and our parent company, LabCorp – have stepped up to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. I wanted to take a moment to let you know how we are working to address several key areas:
Protecting the health of employees, clients, patients and animals: Our utmost concern is the safety of our employees, patients, customers and animals. We continue to follow U.S. CDC, WHO and local government guidelines and have implemented remote working wherever practical, while maintaining essential employees on site as needed. To protect those employees, we have introduced enhanced health and safety procedures across our sites.
Ensuring the continuity of our ongoing studies and programs: All Covance sites remain operational, unless restricted by local mandates. We have implemented rigorous, detailed business continuity plans across all service lines and continue to manage our supply chain effectively. We continue to initiate new studies where possible and are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on timelines and deliverables.
With regard to our Clinical Pharmacology group, we have made the difficult decision to delay entry of new study cohorts into the units for approximately 8 weeks. Our clinics remain open and operational, continuing to work on studies that are in progress. An important exception to this action is our commitment to support new studies intended to treat or prevent COVID-19 with healthy volunteers.
Expanding availability of COVID-19 tests: LabCorp is working closely with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the U.S. CDC, industry partners and other leading health authorities to expand COVID-19 testing in the United States. Since launching our first test in early March, we are now able to perform more than 20,000 tests per day and expect capacity to continue to grow. Our LabCorp Diagnostics colleagues are working continuously to validate and launch additional test options. In our Covance central laboratory, we are validating several different assays for COVID-19 testing – the timing for these assays will depend on availability of key components.
Developing vaccines and therapies through the power of our combined capabilities: We have deep experience in antiviral drugs and vaccines and are working with our biopharmaceutical clients to develop both prevention and treatment solutions. We have also established a Covance COVID-19 “Tiger Team,” an innovative, cross-functional team to help get potential new treatments for COVID-19 into clinical trials more quickly and efficiently. This team will serve as a gateway to all the services and offerings Covance provides. You may have also seen the recent announcement of our work in conjunction with Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies in a virtual clinical trial to identify immune responses to COVID-19.
In challenging times like these, we stand together to combat an invisible enemy – and Covance and LabCorp are proud to stand with you. We remain committed to delivering across all of our service lines and across the globe. Our mission has always been simple – to improve health and improve lives. We will continue to support you, our clients, as we work toward this mission.
March 13, 2020
Covance and its parent company LabCorp have been monitoring the global COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of this year and is updating business continuity plans daily. We are keeping abreast of updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other national and global health organizations. We have taken a global leadership role in addressing the spread of COVID-19, including our recent launch of the LabCorp Diagnostics COVID-19 testing kits in the United States.
We want to assure you that we remain committed to business continuity while also protecting patients, employees and our client partners.
We prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and their families, of the patients and customers we serve and of the communities in which we live and work. We recognize that the situation is evolving and have already taken several proactive steps to mitigate risk while maintaining business continuity, including:
- Adherence to governmental travel advice for all countries in which we operate with creation of a decision matrix for determining essential travel
- Providing flexible work arrangements where appropriate that maximize work execution
- Activating business continuity plans to enable flexible and dependable delivery of our commitments
- Collaborating with sites to provide access to adequate clinical care either on or off-site
- Contingencies planned for medication availability (IMP and non-IMP)
We are currently assessing the potential impact of COVID-19 on timelines and deliverables which may vary across our service offerings and regions. We also continue to initiate new studies from Early Development through Phase IV and our Central Labs are fully operational.
We are committed to continuing our mission to improve health and improve lives during these critical and unprecedented times.