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PRESS RELEASE – Coronavirus: the commitment and dedication of Farma Industria Ticino associated companies


Coronavirus: the commitment and dedication of Farma Industria Ticino (from now on “FIT”) associated companies

In this moment our working habits – both as people and as companies – have changed. Some had to slow down, and others had to stop. However, there are professional figures and companies that cannot stop. Sanitary activities, food production and distribution, as also the chemical-pharmaceutical companies that our association represents.

FIT once again wants to reassure all stakeholders on the continuity of research & development and production activities in our associated companies, especially drugs used directly in therapies to support intensive care, or those essential to avoid patients being hospitalized which would be problematic in this period, the ones used in cancer therapies and in general life-saving drugs.

Humabs BioMed SA, a subsidiary of the American group Vir Biotechnology, Inc., promptly started the research for effective antibodies against COVID-19 and in its Ticino laboratories identified some antibodies capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Their effectiveness has already been confirmed by two different laboratories. In addition to identifying these monoclonal antibodies, the company has also made two alterations: one to extend the period in which they guarantee protection and the second called “vaccination mutation” which should provide long-term immunity, until it can become a vaccine. Both versions of the antibodies will be taken to the next step, i.e. phase 1 and phase 2 clinical tests, already in the next 3-5 months. The group will however continue the search for further antibodies, with the aim of succeeding – in the future – in having transversal antibodies, that are effective against almost all types of coronavirus. Click here to read Vir’s press release.

The commitment and dedication of the FIT associated companies does not stop there. In addition to medicines, some member companies are quickly responding to the increased needs and difficulties of supplying some devices used in our hospitals with a donation of 100’000 masks and 200 kg of ethanol to the Cantonal Hospital for the production of disinfectants.

Other actions are under evaluation and some of these could be implemented shortly demonstrating that the business world (in this case represented by the chemical-pharmaceutical industries) has at heart not only the health of its employees and companies, but of all the people who live in Ticino.

Farma Industria Ticino

Lugano, March 30, 2020