$2 billion required to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus

University of Queensland vaccine research

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the organisation set up to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, has made an urgent call for $2 billion to support the development of a vaccine against the virus responsible for COVID-19.

Funding call

The call for $2 billion of new funding will enable CEPI to expand the number of vaccine candidates at the outset to increase the chances of success, and to fund the clinical trials for these candidate vaccines. Our ambition is to have at least 3 vaccine candidates, which could be submitted to regulatory authorities for licensure for general use/use in outbreaks.

CEPI has identified five funding phases that will enable us to start work now:

$100 million immediately, to support

> Vaccine development for 8 candidates through phase 1 clinical trials

$375 million by end of March, 2020, to support

> Manufacturing of clinical trial material for phase 2/3 trials for 4-6 vaccine candidates

> Preparation of phase 2/3 trials for 4-6 vaccine candidates (potential initiation of phase 2 trial for 1 candidate)

> Initial investments to expand global manufacturing capacity. These investments are needed to ensure the vaccine is ultimately available at scale and globally

$400 million by end of June, 2020, to support

> Execution of phase 2/3 trials for at least 2 candidates

> Preparation of phase 2/3 clinical trials in a number of locations globally

> Production of additional phase 2/3 clinical trial material

> Further investment in scaling up / technology transfer of manufacturing process for up to 6 candidates

$400m by end of September for October to December 2020, to support

> Conduct of phase 2/3 clinical trials for additional 4 candidates in a number of
locations globally

> Investment in large-scale manufacturing capacity for at least 3 vaccine

$500 million to $750 million in 2021, to support

> Enhancing global manufacturing capacity with tech transfer to geographically distributed locations of up to 3 candidates

> Completion of clinical trial testing

> Completion of regulatory and quality requirements for at least 3 vaccines

> Preparation of regulatory dossiers for emergency authorization/licensure submission

To ensure availability of funds and reflecting the many uncertainties that still surround COVID-19, the World Bank has created a financial vehicle whereby funds can be returned to donors if not used for the response or if the epidemiological picture changes and vaccine development is deemed unwarranted. Alternatively, at the donor's discretion, funds may be retained at the World Bank for use in a future Disease X scenario.

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About CEPI

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has reached over US$750 million of its $1 billion funding target. CEPI's priority diseases include Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invests in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (ie, Disease X). To date, CEPI has committed to investing up to $475 million in vaccine and platform development. Learn more at www.cepi.net. Follow us at @CEPIvaccines.

CEPI's work on COVID-19

The rapid global spread and unique epidemiological characteristics of the novel coronavirus is deeply concerning. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO, who is leading the development of a coordinated international response. So far, we have initiated 6 partnerships to improve our understanding and to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships. The aim is to advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible.

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