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Alexion’s CEO Speaks to the Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Progress

SOURCE: Alexion Pharmaceuticals


There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of change – it changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we serve our communities. Yet, with all of the change, I was reminded of an important truth – we are all human, and together we are resilient.

At Alexion’s core is its people – more than 3,500 dedicated individuals around the world. That is 3,500 unique perspectives and experiences that, when brought together to work toward a shared mission – to transform the lives of people affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions – can do incredible things. You will hear directly from many of those individuals throughout our 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, as they share our story from their perspectives and in their words.

That story begins with people living with rare diseases and devastating conditions. They are our inspiration and our Guiding Star.

At Alexion, we recognize that we can best serve patients when we truly listen to patients, their caregivers and other stakeholders along their journey. We are investing in tools, technology and programs to help us better understand the patient experience and using those insights to inform clinical trial design, and ultimately develop and deliver more innovative treatments. We are not just innovating for patients, we are innovating with patients, and by the end of 2021, we expect most of our clinical trials will incorporate patient-centered insights and inputs.

During 2020, we also introduced new capabilities that enable us to conduct key aspects of our clinical trials remotely, and in some cases, at a patient’s home, making clinical trial participation more accessible to broader and more diverse patient communities.

Serving our communities has always been integral to who we are and what we stand for as an organization, and in 2020, it took on an even greater importance.

Soon after launching in February of last year, The Alexion Charitable Foundation (ACF) made its first grants to two leading disease-agnostic patient advocacy organizations to support COVID-19 relief efforts for those living with or affected by a rare disease. This response was soon followed by support for nonprofit partners helping our local communities cope with the emotional and financial impacts of the pandemic. ACF has also since funded programs supporting emotional well-being, educational opportunities, and diversity and inclusion.

Alexion employees also donated more than 3,400 volunteer hours during Alexion’s Global Week of Service (GWS). Through 100% virtual engagement, our employees supported emotional well-being, educational opportunities, and diversity and inclusion programs that directly impacted the local communities in which we live and work.

We made great strides in creating a more diverse and inclusive culture, focused on fostering a deep sense of belonging.

Shortly after I joined Alexion in 2017, we embarked on a culture transformation journey, and over the last three years, we have seen a dramatic increase in a key measure of employee loyalty. I believe it is because of our strong culture that our employees were able to quickly adapt to a new way of working and continue serving the patients and communities who rely on us, uninterrupted.

Not only did we learn to adapt to a new work environment, but we learned to adapt to a new social environment, as well. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many preexisting health, social and economic inequities, sparking conversations and actions to address these issues both within our walls and in our communities. Last summer, Alexion appointed its first Chief Diversity Officer to shape and advance diversity, inclusion and belonging (DI&B) at Alexion. Less than a year later, we have a fully dedicated function focused on enhancing DI&B not only at the employee level, but also within the rare disease community, by addressing topics like the historical underrepresentation of diverse patient populations in clinical trials and persistent health inequities in treatment.

When I look back on 2020, I am incredibly proud of what our organization accomplished, despite the challenges that this last year presented. Our recent achievements in environmental, social and governance (ESG) and CSR ratings are a strong validation that our efforts are having an impact. And as I look forward to what is ahead, I am confident that we will sustain these efforts in order to create a better future for our generation today and those to follow.

Thank you to the patients and families who inspire us, our stakeholders who support us and to our employees for the dedication you have shown to patients, to our communities and to each other.


Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D.,

Chief Executive Officer


This is an excerpt from Alexion’s 2020 CSR Report. To read more, please visit



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