April 21, 2020
Grifols continues to reinforce its commitment to all stakeholders as a response to COVID-19
The company continues responding to its stakeholders’ needs responsibly: the society, employees, donors, patients, suppliers, shareholders and investors.
Barcelona, April 21, 2020.- Grifols has adopted a number of measures since the onset of the pandemic in order to respond to the needs of its stakeholders.
The company continually monitors the progression of COVID-19, analyzing and evaluating its potential impact on its workforce and operations to guarantee minimal delays or interruptions in our operations as Grifols’ products and services are essential for patients and healthcare professionals worldwide.
Day after day, at Grifols we continue our efforts to ensure that people in need of our plasma-derived medicines receive treatment.
Responsibility to our employees
Our teamwork is a core priority for Grifols and ensuring its safety is unquestionable.
The company has taken every measure necessary since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the safety of personnel in all of Grifols facilities, both corporate and manufacturing. These measures exceed the recommendations set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health authorities.
The company has implemented a work-from-home policy and reached flexibility agreements for manufacturing to ensure the continuity of our operations, in addition to prioritizing the use of virtual meetings and other tools.
Responsibility to our donors and patients
Grifols continues to reinforce its long-term commitment to its donors in light of their critical role in the manufacture of plasma-derived therapies.
Grifols’ plasma centers, production and commercial facilities remain operational, making possible continued production and supply of plasma-derived medicines, diagnostic and hospital solutions with the fewest delays possible.
Several governments around the world, including the U.S. and Spain, consider Grifols’ manufacturing plants and plasma-and blood-donation centers as essential infrastructures. For this reason, the donors and personnel that make these donations possible are exempt when restrictions are placed on movement.
Over the last years, Grifols invested heavily to increase its plasma capabilities. Therefore, Grifols continues to lead the market in plasma centers, with a network of 300 centers in the United States and Germany, and it made possible to expand its plasma obtained by 28% in 2018 and by 13% in 2019.
At the same time, all of the company’s industrial complexes are operative. If required, the Grifols’ industrial global footprint provides the necessary flexibility to balance manufacturing among its different plants.
Grifols continues to monitor any potential impacts on its operations and taking all necessary actions to mitigate any potential interruption to the supply chain.
Making every effort possible for the benefit of the society
Closer to offering a plasma-based treatment against COVID-19
Grifols entered into a collaboration agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. health authority Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and other U.S. federal organizations to collect plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients (convalescent plasma), process it and use it to manufacture anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune immunoglobulins. The agreement also extends to spearheading pre-clinical and clinical trials to determine the efficacy of the therapy as a treatment against COVID-19.
Grifols is also providing support to utilize convalescent plasma for transfusion as a potential therapy by providing viral inactivation technology (methylene blue) to ensure inactivated plasma units for treatment use in the U.S.
Simultaneously, Grifols is also collaborating with different bodies in Spain and Germany to undertake clinical studies on using inactivated convalescent plasma and the potential use of certain plasma-derived products, such as immunoglobulin and alpha-1 to treat COVID-19 patients.
Grifols shares its expertise and know-how with global governments and healthcare systems, in addition to providing collective industry efforts to discover treatments to fight against this global pandemic.
Leveraging on the experience and knowledge developed in previous health emergencies such as the Ebola outbreak, allows Grifols to be the first company to begin developing an anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune immunoglobulin, which could be available in mid-July.
Development of an automated diagnostic test to detect SARS-CoV-2
As a leader in diagnostics, Grifols has accelerated the development of a proprietary technology TMA (transcription-mediated amplification) based diagnostic procedure that allows detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. TMA is a widely used technique capable of detecting viral RNA with a sensitivity equivalent or even superior to that of PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
TMA technology is commonly used in transfusion centers, blood banks and plasma centers throughout the world because, in addition to its high analytic sensitivity, it works with large sample volumes automatically.
First batches are currently in production and is expected to be ready in early May.
Grifols will make its knowledge available to healthcare institutions to help contribute to efforts to contain the outbreak.
Robust financial situation
Grifols has the necessary resources and liquidity to fulfill its short- and medium-term obligations. On March 31, 2020, the company had EUR 638 million in cash positions and approximately EUR 570 million in undrawn lines of credit, placing its liquidity position above EUR 1,200 million.
In November 2019, Grifols concluded its debt refinancing process, allowing it to optimize its financial structure and extend average maturities to more than seven years. It has also provided greater flexibility in covenant conditions (cov-lite). The company does not face significant maturity repayments or down payments until 2025.
In addition, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Grifols is preemptively taking all necessary measures to further bolster its already-solid liquidity position.
The company is strongly equipped to respond to the current challenges and remains committed to its long-term growth strategy.
The company also confirms its commitment to growth and value creation for its shareholders.