Businesses are racing to produce vaccines, treatments, and medical supplies to help slow and ultimately defeat the pandemic. Companies are ramping up output of safety equipment and ventilators, creating improved tests, working on vaccines, and developing treatments for covid‐19.
There is much dismal news these days, so it is heartening to read about the rapid and concerted actions taken by entrepreneurs and businesses on every facet of the crisis.
Here is some of the progress American firms are making:
- EO Products started increasing production of its hand sanitizer brand in January and is now pumping out 16 times more product than before. EO Products saw early market signals hinting at the coming crisis and it pursued swift action. Source.
- GOJO Industries, the maker of Purell, also started ramping up production of hand sanitizer in January. U.S. hand sanitizer sales were 73 percent higher in the four weeks ending February 22 than the same period last year, indicating the rapid industry response. Source.
- 3M Company has doubled its global output of N95 respirators to 100 million per month, including 35 million in the United States. Numerous other companies have jumped into facemask production. Source, source, and source. Fun fact: facemasks are regulated by four separate federal bureaucracies: FDA, CDC, NIOSH, and OSHA. Source.
- Ventec Life Systems is ramping up ventilator production to 1,000 units per month, up from the usual 150. Ventilators are expensive but crucial machines in this crisis because they help severe pneumonia patients breathe. Source and source.
- Medtronic is aiming to double production of ventilators. Source.
- Zoll Medical Corporation has quadrupled production of ventilators in recent weeks. Zoll president Elijah White said of his workers: “They’re working a lot of overtime — they’re putting themselves at higher risk by coming in … but we feel like we have a really important role to play.” Source.
- Bloom Energy is using its capabilities to refurbish older ventilator machines. Source.
- Cepheid has developed a new test for coronavirus that produces results in less than an hour at the point of care. Source.
- Biotech entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg and his team are rushing to develop a home test kit for coronavirus but will need to jump regulatory barriers. Source.
- Scientists and companies are racing to develop antibody blood tests to help track the spread of the disease. Source and source.
- Globally, dozens of biotech and pharmaceutical companies are rushing to develop vaccines and treatments for covid‐19 using a diversity of approaches. Industry group BIO has an information site here. Some of the U.S. firms pursuing vaccines and treatments are Novavax, Pfizer, Gilead Sciences, Heat Biologics, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Vaxart, Vir Biotechnology, Airway Therapeutics, Altimmune, Tonix Pharmaceuticals, Innovation Pharmaceuticals, CytoDyn, Applied DNA Sciences, Eli Lilly, Arcturus Therapeutics, and likely many others. Source, source, and source.
David Kemp and Sarah Rapier helped research this blog.