In a matter of months, COVID-19 has leveled unprecedented human and economic destruction across the globe. Never has the role of the scientific community been more important as they race to develop treatments and a vaccine. In Massachusetts, our local biopharmaceutical companies have stepped up – leading the way, working day and night to find therapies and cures to help end this deadly disease.
Moderna, a company based in Cambridge, is developing one of the first potential COVID-19 vaccines. Volunteers have received the vaccine through clinical trials and early results are promising. Recognizing that mass production of the vaccine will be needed should it be successful, preparations for the production of millions of doses is underway.
They are in good company here in Massachusetts. Throughout the state our biotech companies are conducting research, partnering with other companies and healthcare institutions, and working to develop diagnostic, treatments, and cures.
Chamber members such as Takeda are also in the race to develop the first approved COVID-19 treatment. Their product uses the plasma of people who’ve developed immunity to the virus to make a medicine to protect high-risk individuals from COVID-19 recombinant protein-based vaccine. Philips, who just moved to Cambridge, is doubling the production of ventilators and is targeting a four-fold increase by third quarter to meet demand from hospitals overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID-19.
The life science community in Cambridge has proven to be a valuable partner in assisting those most affected by COVID-19. They helped raise millions of dollars for the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, which aids residents and local small businesses most affected by this crisis.
The Cambridge Chamber has been advocating for the business community at the federal, state and local level. We have partnered with the business community to make sure vital resources get to those who need them most. As we move towards the new normal, the chamber is launching a unified campaign aimed at thanking, promoting and celebrating the Cambridge business community, called #CambridgeTogether.
Massachusetts companies are stepping up in other ways, too. When a call went out in mid-March for donations of personal protective equipment to cover shortages at local hospitals, 200 Massachusetts entities responded within 24 hours and in less than a week 380 companies and organizations had donated N95 masks, goggles, protective suits, swabs, gloves and numerous other items.
The industry funded nonprofit Life Science Cares, founded to help eliminate the impact of poverty in Cambridge and greater Boston, has allocated an additional $160,000 to support COVID-19 related efforts with 6 area nonprofits.
The Massachusetts biopharmaceutical industry has been a critical public health leader during this pandemic and an essential industry to the state’s economy. As we work through unprecedented unemployment rates the biopharmaceutical sector continues to provide jobs and a pathway to recover with state and local tax revenue.
The Cambridge Chamber is proud to work with so many corporate partners who understand the importance of civic work. We recognize the economic impacts and the groundbreaking research that Massachusetts biopharmaceutical companies provide our state.
We all benefit from critical biopharma breakthroughs – new and better medical innovations, treatments and cures. Too often, we have taken this discovery for granted. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important the biopharmaceutical industry is. And, as leaders in the Massachusetts business community, we are proud of the role that our bio companies will play in helping succeed in these challenging times.