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Cracking COVID-19: Collaboration is Key says Medicines New Zealand

Internationally, companies from the biopharmaceutical industry are working collaboratively with researchers, each other and leading government health agencies and departments on initiatives to get vaccines and therapeutic medicines with proven safety and effectiveness to the world’s population as quickly as possible. According to many companies and researchers involved in the development of effective COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, the extent and scale of the collaborative efforts and the speed of activity is breath-taking and without precedent.

The National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) in the United States have brought together almost 20 leading biopharmaceutical companies and other organisations in the US and EU to develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic – the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership.

“The ACTIV initiative brings together a number of organisations critical to the COVID-19 response. It looks at four key areas: standardising and sharing pre-clinical evaluation methods and data in an open forum; prioritising and accelerating clinical evaluation of suitable candidates which have clear near-term potential; maximising the clinical trial capacity and efficiency to speed up the clinical trial process without weakening it to ensure what they are developing is safe and will work; and advancing vaccine development” said Dr Graeme Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.

“This initiative is just one example of the constructive collaboration going on internationally between governments and industry to combat COVID-19. I am hopeful we will continue this dialogue and maybe New Zealand wishes to be part of it in some way” said Dr Jarvis.

Industry, researchers and government cooperation and collaboration will be critical.

To ensure that we are able to manufacture enough vaccines and therapeutics for the world’s population when successful ones are discovered, the biopharmaceutical industry is already planning and scaling up facilities in preparation. It is working with private and public organisations including Governments in many countries.

“Medicines New Zealand and its members look forward to more engagement from the New Zealand Government including constructive collaboration and dialogue on their strategy for supply of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics to New Zealanders, as well as other medicines-related issues both now and into the future" said Dr Jarvis.


Medicines New Zealand is the industry group representing pharmaceutical companies operating in New Zealand. We advocate for the benefits of modern medicines as part of a high-quality public health system. Our objective is to ensure that New Zealanders have access to the right medicines at the right time.

Kristen Edwards, Communications Advisor, Medicines New Zealand.
Ph: 027 534 6461