GlaxoSmithKline's Efforts to Overcome COVID-19

Published : Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 5:21 pm
ACROFAN=Seunghee Shin | | SNS

As a global pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is participating in a worldwide effort to overcome COVID-19, both internally and externally.

Externally, GSK is providing its science and expertise to support the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. At the same time, it has been continuously conducting activities to support the community and medical staff working at the forefront of the field.

Internally, GSK is building an industry-leading system to efficiently improve the work environment changed by COVID-19 and improve the health and well-being of its employees. The details are as follows.

▣ Expanding technical support and cooperation to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates

GSK offers its core technology, the adjuvant platform technology, to strengthen international cooperation for the development of the vaccine. The adjuvant technology is a particularly valuable technique in epidemic outbreaks where vaccines must be rapidly provided to many people, as they can produce more vaccine doses with a small amount of vaccine antigen.

Based on the cooperation with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in February, GSK has provided its adjuvant technology to the COVID-19 program, conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia. Also, the company entered the collaboration with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a Chinese biotechnology company. GSK supported the adjuvant technology for the evaluation of S-Trimer candidates for the vaccine in the preclinical research phase.

On top of that, it announced that it would research vaccines of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses in cooperation with Vir Biotechnology, which has its monoclonal antibody platform technology. Promising antibody candidates for SARS-CoV-2 are expected to enter Phase II clinical trials within the next 3-5 months.

▣ Providing funding and emergency aid for medical staff

GSK provided financial support for medical staff working in the field with a donation of $10 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, established by the United Nations organization and WHO. It is also donating extra reagents to help with diagnostic tests in many countries and is preparing to support additional personal protective equipment for medical staff.

▣ Supporting physical and mental health care for employees

GSK is striving to create an advanced corporate culture that manages employees' health and well-being to increase employee engagement. Immediately after the spread of COVID-19, the company has established and implemented employee safety measures and work emergency measures under the in-house global issue management team.

GSK also provides support measures that cover both physical and mental aspects. First, the company distributed the COVID-19 related employee safety guide and operated a hub site that provides epidemiological information. Multivitamin Centrum was provided for employee health management, and consulting services for mental health management such as isolation, alienation, and fatigue caused by social distance.

At the same time, it provides an external instructor education program with the theme of "Improving psychological immunity to overcome COVID-19." Education programs for physical and mental health are also available through the "Keep Growing site" designed for the steady self-development of GSK employees worldwide.

▣ Strengthening technology support system for routinizing digitalization

GSK has been building a digital-based work environment, such as vitalizing telecommuting and supporting infrastructure for video conferencing. The company plans to further complement the digital work environment and further systematize the infrastructure that has been built by taking advantage of the company-wide telecommuting.

Starting with the reorganization of communication networks for online meetings and support for items such as headsets, guided training for overall telecommuting, and company support system inspection through employee surveys were conducted. Besides, GSK doubled the capacity of the intranet connection network and operated the "Help Lounge" to solve inquiries related to telecommuting, minimizing the inconvenience of employees due to sudden changes in the work environment.

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