PIR International approached a range of BioLeaders for their thoughts on the current pandemic; with the benefit of their sector experience, their comments offer insights for the industry and policy makers; and practical thoughts on what individual companies are doing to ensure operational protocols are adjusted to continue to meet milestones.

Namir Hassan, CEO of Zelluna Immunotherapy

‘This too shall pass; like other pandemics in history we will get to the other side of this one. The world is changing, and so too are our interactions with it. This global re-invention has benefits, though clearly the tragic loss of life and socio/economic impact is very troubling. Yuval Harari describes “flexible cooperation” as a human trait that has served our species well in human history and is the dominating characteristic that enabled our survival. As in our history, it is through this flexible co-operation across the disciplines of the life-science sector that will see ourselves emerge through this pandemic and, hopefully, take lessons from it.’

Tone Kvaale, former CFO Nordic Nanovector

‘I think the COVID-19 crisis has taught the life science sector to collaborate more across borders and companies. The way of working will change to less travel and more virtual meetings. I also think that countries will try to be more self-sufficient when it comes to medical equipment, components to medicine production and infection control equipment.’

Emma Sceats, CEO of Isogenica

‘Like a lot of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve had to think carefully about how we can protect the health and welfare of our staff, play our part in national efforts to curb the pandemic, and have a competitive thriving business the other side of this crisis. Building on Isogenica’s values of collaboration, ownership and innovation with impact, our approach has been to:

  • Communicate regularly with all of our key stakeholders (partners, investors, employees): we’re in this together!
  • Make our team integral to planning and COVID-19 related process development.
  • Be honest with ourselves and other stakeholders about the level and type of support we can offer national/global COVID-19 efforts and how becoming involved might impact our business in the shorter and longer term.
  • Proactively review our plans for the post-pandemic business environment, anticipating trends that could present challenges or new opportunities in the months and years ahead.’