COVID-19: AstraZeneca’s response to a changing world
AstraZeneca is rapidly mobilising its research efforts to combat COVID-19 in response to the global pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the lives of everyone across the world. Many aspects of our everyday lives have changed, and we will be feeling the impact of the pandemic for years to come. At AstraZeneca, we are working tirelessly to support the global effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priorities are to ensure the continued supply of our medicines to patients and to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all our employees and communities.
As pioneering leaders in medical research, we have joined forces with experts, international health authorities, governments, academia and industry peers to accelerate the search for therapies, to boost diagnostic testing and to help protect healthcare workers on the frontline.
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak
COVID-19 is an infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a zoonotic virus that is thought to have originated in bats [1,2].
Symptoms of COVID-19 infection are non-specific and can present as asymptomatic to severe pneumonia and death . Data suggest that approximately 80% of patients present with mild disease, 14% with severe disease and 5% with critical clinical manifestation (respiratory failure, septic shock and/or multiple organ dysfunction) [1,3].
Typical signs and symptoms include :
- Dry cough
- Sputum production
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
COVID-19 is primarily transmitted between humans via respiratory droplets during close face-to-face contact [1,2]. The median incubation period for COVID-19 has been reported as 5.1 days; furthermore, 97.5% of individuals who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days .
The virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) enters the host cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, after priming of the viral Spike protein by host serine protease type 2 transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) [6,7]. ACE2 is expressed in the lung, heart, kidney and intestine, which makes these organs vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 .
With the COVID-19 pandemic claiming thousands of lives, AstraZeneca is putting patients first by prioritising response to this pandemic, consistent with company values to follow the science, put patients first and do the right thing.
You can discover more news and other resources at AstraZeneca.com.
 World Health Organization. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updated 11 March.
 Wiersinga WJ et al. JAMA. 2020 doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.12839.
 Jin Y et al. Viruses 2020;12:372.
 Zhu J et al. Fam Med Com Health 2020;8:e000406.
 Lauer et al. Ann Intern Med 2020; 172:577–582.
 Hoffmann M et al, Cell 2020;181:271–280.
 Clerkin KJ et al. Circulation 2020;141:1648–1655.