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Name of Organization/Company: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Marlborough, MA USA
Category: Employer of the Year – Pharmaceuticals

Entry Title: Sunovion Pharmaceuticals


During 2020, Sunovion marked its10th anniversary. This occasion provided leaders and employees the opportunity to reflect on accomplishments to bring forward several new treatment options to address serious medical conditions impacting the lives of millions of people worldwide. The company’s track record has included making significant advancements in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders and partnering on leading educational and advocacy initiatives to empower people living with these conditions. The company continues to fulfill its bold vision to lead the way to a healthier world and understands the unmet need for new and innovative Central Nervous System (CNS) medicines. Antony Loebel, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, reinforces that Sunovion has a higher calling to serve patients, one of its core values actively lived by employees each day. As a board-certified psychiatrist, he knows this first-hand. It is his patient-focused vision that grounds the company’s employees in the importance of their daily work—improving quality of life for people living with mental health conditions, as well as neurological conditions.

During 2020 into 2021, Sunovion provided a platform for employees to focus on a collective commitment to accelerate efforts in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). Employees formed the D&I Council and employee-driven Business Impact Groups (BIGs), initially focused on women, multi-ethnicity, families and the LGBTQ+ communities. The D&I Council and BIGs serve as stewards of the D&I initiative, which is already adding strength to the organization and dimension to ideas and solutions to address business challenges and visualize new opportunities.

Sunovion joined corporations by taking the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which also offered employees opportunity to take a companion pledge. Sunovion engaged employees in the efforts of its trade organization PhRMA Equity Initiative, while building a more diverse workforce by changing its recruitment approach to increase equality and representation among full time employees, contractors, fellows and interns, while collaborating with industry organizations and academic institutions to provide greater career path opportunities for underserved populations.

As remote work continued through the pandemic, the company added employee resources and provided engagement opportunities, such as virtual events to show support for patient populations. In addition, the company adjusted its Hands On! community service program so that employees could volunteer around their homes and give back with their families. Additionally, the company enabled employees to continue to serve as coaches to students in virtual settings to encourage the next generation of innovators in the life sciences fields.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization not only maintained business continuity but also remained focused on its patient-centric mission, bringing forward major achievements for patients despite a challenging pandemic environment. For example, Sunovion was able to announce that the FDA approved KYNMOBI™ (apomorphine HCI) sublingual film (APL-130277) for the acute, intermittent treatment of OFF episodes in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) while bringing attention to what it means to live with PD. This is significant since many companies exited the CNS development space due to perceived high risks and a number of failed programs, while Sunovion has continued to invest in CNS and has successfully developed and commercialized a number of products in this space, even during the pandemic.

Another key achievement during this time included the company’s support services program, Sunovion Answers, being named as a J.D. Power 2020 Certified Customer Service ProgramSM, which Dr. Loebel indicated is an outstanding achievement reflective of the company and its employees living its core value to serve patients.

Of note, the company connected people in the U.S. who request additional support related to mental health to top advocacy organizations for COVID-19 specific mental health resources.

Sunovion celebrated its 10th anniversary starting in October 2020, reinforcing a decade of achievements for patients and communities through a press release announcement.

Sunovion’s President and CEO signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge in December 2020. In addition to the CEO Pledge, this initiative provides the “I ACT ON” pledge. Employees were encouraged through internal communications to consider taking this personal pledge that any individual can take to help drive inclusive behavior in their everyday life.

An announcement and video highlight the third year of Sunovion’s STEM program with the Advanced Math & Science Academy (AMSA), which offers Sunovion employees with skills-based volunteering and helps encourage the next generation of innovators.

Examples of Sunovion social media posts reinforce opportunities for employees in Diversity & Inclusion efforts and Business Impact Groups, patient support and advocacy, and community service and STEM education.: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/166e82a2-7d62-400c-93c4-ea8ac23efede?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720300646&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Stevie%20Award%20submission%20reference%20-%20Employer%20of%20the%20Year%20Sunovion%20-social%20post%20examples.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=tY4VSlLFFyN2AetrMMCDfxwfUuI%3D

A video shows Sunovion employees supporting the mental health community through a virtual walk.

Employee focus on advancing important treatments including during the pandemic is represented in the announcement of the FDA approval of the company’s medicine to address certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Press release regarding JD Power certification of the Sunovion customer service program reinforces the company’s value and mission to serve patients.

The statement “Our Commitment During COVID-19” and fact sheet developed for legislators reinforces the focus on resources for patients and CSR efforts.: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/8ac5613d-3229-43b8-bb25-525ee7c00bc8?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720300646&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%2220200512_COVID-19_Statement_For_GovernmentAffairs.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=uBLIrXZ8fhiTyJ5Jcygq5nRXYio%3D

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunovion continued to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and their families, while enabling business activities in a virtual and transitional hybrid work environment. Sunovion continued to provide patient resources, as well as additional employee resources, while giving back to local, national and international communities during COVID-19.

Resources for employees during COVID-19 included: Sunovion focuses on supporting the health and wellness of our employees. Our benefits program is designed to meet the diverse needs of employees and is an essential part of what makes our company a great place to work. During COVID-19, we have taken appropriate actions to ensure as safe and healthy working environment as possible for our employees, contractors and other stakeholders. Sunovion has aligned our guidance to employees, contractors and stakeholders with the guidance of various national, regional and local authorities. Support for employees has included remote work resources, health information and updates on specific benefits. In internal surveys, employees have highly rated these resources.

The fact sheet highlights Sunovion’s support for employees and their families during COVID-19, including benefits and special services.

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