1. Further update on BPL response to COVID-19
Our three priorities remain the same since our last update on March 18th:
- To safeguard the health and wellbeing of our team members.
- To maintain a reliable supply of critical medicines to our patients.
- To remain in full compliance with our regulatory duties and obligations.
- BPL employees working directly on the production and release of product have been given Key Workers status to enable the continuity of supply of medicines to our patients.
- We have updated the measures already in place at the Elstree site to help our team stay safe at work, including temperature scanning, physical distancing, and reinforced hygiene.
- All other employees have been working remotely since mid-March and remain fully engaged in supporting BPL’s mission during this challenging time.
Our reliable supply of critical medicines
- At present all of BPL’s 51 US plasma centres continue to operate as normal having implemented social distancing and other significant measures to protect our team members, and to ensure the wellbeing of our donors.
- The Elstree site in the UK continues to operate on a continuous 24x7 basis. Our teams have been working tirelessly to ensure the normal conduct of operations, with the highest standards being maintained.
- To further meet NHS needs for Albumin used in acute care cases, we have reduced our despatch time for emergency UK orders to two hours from the time an order is received. We have also waived standard delivery fees for Albumin until end of June.
2. Participation in new global alliance to develop a hyperimmune immunoglobulin product
It has been announced today that a new global alliance of plasma leaders has been formed to develop a hyperimmune immunoglobulin product targeting COVID-19. We are pleased to be part of this alliance, which is being jointly led by CSL Behring (headquartered in Australia) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company (headquartered in Japan). A link to the Global Plasma Leaders Collaboration announcement is here.
Other plasma-derived therapeutic companies who are participating include Octapharma (Switzerland), Biotest (Germany), and LFB (France). More companies are expected to join. The alliance seeks to support national governments around the world in their efforts to fight the current pandemic. In our response we are liaising with regulators and government agencies in the UK and elsewhere, with the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) and with patient associations.
The alliance will begin immediately with the investigational development of one, unbranded anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin medicine with the potential to treat individuals with serious complications from COVID-19. Experts from the alliance will begin collaborating across key aspects such as plasma collections, clinical trial developments and manufacturing.
Developing a hyperimmune will require plasma donation from many individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and whose blood contains antibodies that can fight the novel coronavirus. Once collected, the “convalescent” plasma would then be transported to manufacturing facilities where it will undergo proprietary processing, including effective virus inactivation and removal processes, before being purified into the product.
BPL is pleased to report that, in all our key areas of focus, we have met and continue to meet, the considerable challenges the pandemic presents. We are hugely proud of our team in Elstree, at our US plasma centres and all around the world, as they continue to fulfil our commitment to our customers and our patients. We thank our partners and all who are working with us to ensure we continue to deliver for our customers. We especially thank our plasma donors who continue to support us through their donations. Their contributions are essential to our mission.
We are encouraged and proud to be part of the new global alliance of leading plasma therapeutic companies developing a new medicine that is intended to treat individuals with serious complications derived from COVID-19. We share the belief that a collaborative industry approach, which brings together the brightest minds, shares information and leverages resources and expertise is the best way to confront this collective challenge that we are all facing.
We are in the early stages of allocating technical and development resources to support this effort. We are progressing discussions with our industry and with government on how best this initiative can help. Our number one priority, however, remains to maintain our focus on delivering for our patients and customers today.
Sofia Newitt, Vico Partners
+44-(0)20 3957 5045
About Bio Products Laboratory (BPL)
Recognising the power of plasma and with over 60 years heritage in the industry, BPL supplies high-quality plasma derived medicines to meet the needs of clinicians, patients and customers globally. Headquartered in the United Kingdom and with plasma collection centres across the United States, we are dedicated to producing medicines for the treatment of immune deficiencies, bleeding disorders and infectious diseases as well for critical care. BPL invests in the latest R&D, technology and manufacturing methods, and continuously adapts to ensure that we continue to serve all our stakeholders effectively. For more information visit http://www.bplgroup.com
BPL consists of two operating divisions - BPL Plasma and BPL Therapeutics. BPL Plasma, headquartered in Austin, Texas and operating in the USA, collects plasma from donors, in around 51 centres across the US. BPL Plasma employs over 2000 staff, to support the needs of donors and to ensure high-quality plasma collection in all their centres. Plasma collection is regulated by both FDA and MHRA, and BPL Plasma follow industry guidelines. BPL Plasma operates clean and safe plasma facilities, staffed with trained personnel, dedicated to supporting donors through the process that leads to the donation of plasma. Plasma is shipped to the headquarters of BPL Therapeutics in Elstree, United Kingdom. The plasma is fractionated, purified, and filled through the efforts of our over 1000 employees involved in production, quality, R&D, commercial, customer services and administrative activities. BPL’s plasma derived medicines are commercially available in the UK, USA and 30 plus other countries around the world through our network of local distribution partners.