Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates

Follow the latest updates of the outbreak on our timeline.

Novartis has partnered with a consortium of life sciences companies to rapidly develop, produce and deliver vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for Covid-19 coronavirus infection.

The partners will combine their assets, resources and expertise, working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to accelerate the fight against the pandemic.

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan serves as a co-chair of a consortium of life science companies with headquarters in three continents.

Narasimhan said: “In addition to the individual contributions companies are already making, collective action is critical to ensure any promising studies into vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics are quickly scaled to people around the world who are affected by this pandemic.”

As well as Novartis, companies participating in the alliance involve Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck (MSD), Pfizer, Eisai, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Merck KGaA, BD and bioMérieux.

After a recent conference call with Gates Foundation, 15 companies agreed to share their molecular compound libraries with some existing safety and activity data.

The libraries will be shared alongside the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator launched by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard earlier this month for screening for potential against the new viral infection.