From the Laboratory to the World: Distributing the COVID-19 Vaccine

With coronavirus cases continuing to spike in many countries, the news that vaccines might soon be available has been met with relief worldwide. But preparing a vaccine is only one half of the job; the other half is actually delivering it.

Vaccines require certain storage conditions to maintain their effectiveness. To ensure they remain effective despite a global supply chain, logistics service providers need robust processes, trained personnel, proper facilities and equipment, and a robust delivery network to cope with the staggering volume of shipments.

And this is where we at SAP are ready to support.

Moderna is a clinical stage biotechnology company that pioneers messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients. One of them is mRNA-1273, a vaccine candidate against COVID-19. Moderna is running SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions to help with the serialization and distribution of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

SAP Advanced Track and Trace for Pharmaceuticals is helping Moderna to comply with international legislation intended to prevent counterfeit medicines to reach patients. The application provides a corporate serialization repository, serial number management, and regulatory reporting capabilities. To enable collaboration with its supply chain partners, namely contract manufacturers and wholesalers, Moderna leverages SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences, a public cloud network that enables collaboration for pharmaceutical supply chain trading partners.

It uses a digital network built on SAP Cloud Platform and enables trading partners to exchange large amounts of serialization and associated traceability data. To comply with U.S. legislation that includes the verification of pharmaceutical product packs in case of returns or apparently suspect products, the network includes a blockchain-based verification repository to help eliminate counterfeit products along the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Manufacturers push data into blockchain using Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) messages, a global standard for creating and sharing visibility event data, both within and across enterprises. Wholesale distributors then can execute verification requests against the blockchain-based repository. By now, SAP Information Collaboration Hub for Life Sciences already processes over 70% of the overall drug U.S.-volume for verification.

Because these solutions are integrated into Moderna’s backbone consisting of SAP ERP and supply chain management software, the company has a holistic view over its end-to-end processes.

But we are not stopping here. To support our customers in withstanding the high market dynamics and always staying one step ahead of change, we continue to co-innovate with our customers in all industries. This way, we ensure that we deliver the right solutions at the right time.

No doubt, these are unprecedented times. Never before have scientists and pharmaceutical companies focused so intently on the development of a vaccine both with manpower and money. Never before was the urge to deliver more pressing. And never before was our chance to truly help the world run better and improve people’s lives greater.

In these times, intelligent enterprises can make a difference. The development of a new vaccine within just one year is an unbelievable accomplishment, and we at SAP are ready to help deliver it to all parts of the world.

Christian Klein is CEO of SAP.
This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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