CEPI welcomes UK Government's funding and highlights need for $2 billion to develop a vaccine against COVID-19

06 Mar 2020

By CEPI


Oslo, 6 March 2020 – The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the organisation set up to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, today made an urgent call for $2 billion to support the development of a vaccine against the virus responsible for COVID-19. It also welcomed the UK Government’s announcement of £20m that is needed immediately for vaccine development efforts to continue.

It is increasingly clear that containment measures for COVID-19 can only slow down its spread and the virus is now entering a stage of unprecedented threat in terms of its global impact. While we heartily support the range of public health measures that governments are putting in place to protect their populations, it is critical that we also invest in the development of a vaccine that will prevent people from getting sick in the first place. Working as part of the global response, CEPI has committed $100 million of its own funds and moved with unprecedented speed to initiate a programme of vaccine development with the goal of having vaccine candidates in early stage clinical trials in as little as 16 weeks. However, these funds will be fully allocated by the end of March and without immediate additional financial contributions the vaccine programmes we have begun will not be able to progress and ultimately will not deliver the vaccines that the world needs.

Dr. Richard Hatchett

Chief Executive Officer, CEPI

In response to this call, the UK government today announced £20m of additional funding and urged other donors to join the efforts to find a vaccine. This builds on £30 million of funding the UK Government has previously given to CEPI to support its vaccine development work against COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases.

The UK is well-prepared to respond to potential cases of coronavirus at home, but a global response is needed to effectively combat the disease. We are investing UK aid and using the best of British expertise and science to find new ways to vaccinate against, treat and diagnose the virus, and to support global efforts to prevent further outbreaks around the world. Every action that we take to prevent the virus spreading makes the UK safer.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

UK International Development Secretary

CEPI welcomes the UK’s continued support at a critical time in our fight against COVID-19. We call on others around the world to step up and contribute to the collective responsibility we have to protect our societies from the devastation of this new disease.

Dr. Richard Hatchett

Chief Executive Officer, CEPI

Funding call

CEPI was founded as a global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and
enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks. CEPI has become the lead actor on COVID-19 vaccine development and has the institutional expertise, networks, and agility to move
rapidly. However, while CEPI has begun the process by supporting 4 vaccine candidates with more programmes due to be announced, without additional funding no programme will be able to progress through the earliest phase of clinical testing.

Today’s call for $2 billion of new funding will enable CEPI to expand the number of vaccine candidates at the outset to increase our 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:

$100m immediately, to support
o Vaccine development for 8 candidates through phase 1 clinical trials

$375m by END OF MARCH, to support
o Manufacturing of clinical trial material for phase 2/3 trials for 4-6 vaccine candidates
o Preparation of phase 2/3 trials for 4-6 vaccine candidates (potential initiation of phase
2 trial for 1 candidate)
o Initial investments to expand global manufacturing capacity. These investments are needed to ensure the vaccine is ultimately available at scale and globally

$400m by END OF JUNE, to support
o Execution of phase 2/3 trials for at least 2 candidates
o Preparation of phase 2/3 clinical trials in a number of locations globally
o Production of additional phase 2/3 clinical trial material
o Further investment in scaling up / technology transfer of manufacturing process for up to 6 candidates

$400m by END OF SEPTEMBER, to support
o Conduct of phase 2/3 clinical trials for additional 4 candidates in a number of locations globally
o Investment in large-scale manufacturing capacity for at least 3 vaccine candidates

$500-750m in 2021, to support
o Enhancing global manufacturing capacity with tech transfer to geographically
distributed locations of up to 3 candidates
o Completion of clinical trial testing
o Completion of regulatory and quality requirements for at least 3 vaccines
o 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.

 

CEPI’s work on COVID-19

The rapid global spread and unique epidemiological characteristics of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 remain deeply concerning. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO, who is leading the development of a coordinated international response. We have initiated several 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.

Follow our news page for the latest updates.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Rachel Grant, Director of Communications and Advocacy, CEPI
Tel: +44(0)7891249190
Email: [email protected]

Mario Christodoulou, Communications and Advocacy Manager, CEPI
Tel: +44 (0) 7979300222
Email: [email protected]

Jodie Rogers, Communications Officer, CEPI
Tel: +44(0)79 793 57 459
Email: [email protected]

Image caption and credit: This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML


portrait of autor