OSLO, NORWAY, March 10, 2020 – CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, today announced the expansion of its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. CEPI will be investing a further $4.4 million in partnering agreements with Novavax, Inc. and The University of Oxford to rapidly develop vaccine candidates against COVID-19. This brings CEPI’s total investment in COVID-19 vaccine R&D to $23.7 million.
CEPI will provide initial funding to Novavax to enable preparations for phase 1 trials. Funding for The University of Oxford project will support the manufacture of vaccine materials required for preclinical and phase 1 testing. Earlier this year, CEPI announced initial funding to Curevac Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Moderna, Inc., and University of Queensland to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates using innovative platform technologies.
The investments announced today are a result of a recent global call for proposals that CEPI issued in early February, which invited funding applications for proven vaccine technology that could be used to rapidly develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus, and most importantly at scale and with the necessary equitable access provisions.
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
Novavax has produced and is currently assessing multiple nanoparticle vaccine candidates to identify the best candidate(s) for human testing, which is expected to begin by the end of spring 2020. Novavax is creating COVID-19 vaccine candidates using its proprietary recombinant protein nanoparticle technology platform to generate antigens derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein. Novavax expects to use its proprietary Matrix-M™ adjuvant with its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to enhance immune responses. Novavax has experience in rapid innovative vaccine development against novel emerging viruses, including efforts to develop vaccines against the similar coronaviruses Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
ChAdOx1 is a replication-deficient simian adenoviral vaccine vector. This vaccine platform has been used to produce vaccine candidates against multiple pathogens, including Influenza, Chikungunya, and Zika. In 2018, CEPI provided up to $19 million to Oxford to develop vaccines against Lassa, Nipah, and MERS. Oxford’s ChAdOx1 MERS candidate has completed phase 1 studies and a second clinical study is underway in Saudi Arabia.
On March 6, CEPI issued an urgent call for $2 billion of new funding to enable the organisation to expand the number of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development 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.
To date, the Governments of Germany, Norway, and the UK have committed $186 million towards our COVID-19 vaccine development efforts. CEPI still urgently needs additional financial contributions to ensure that the vaccine programmes we have initiated can continue to progress at their current pace.
We call on other sovereign states, private sector partners, and philanthropies around the world to invest in CEPI’s crucial push to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.
Detailed information about our funding needs is available here.
For investor enquiries, please contact: [email protected]
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 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 nearly $480 million in vaccine and platform development.
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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Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq:NVAX), is a late-stage biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. NanoFlu™, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, is currently in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial to address key factors that can lead to the poor effectiveness of currently approved flu vaccines. ResVax™, its RSV vaccine for infants via maternal immunization, is the only vaccine to demonstrate efficacy in a Phase 3 clinical trial. Novavax recently initiated development of a vaccine program against COVID-19. Novavax is a leading innovator of recombinant vaccines; its proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce a new class of highly immunogenic nanoparticles addressing urgent global health needs.
Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the third year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation.
Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.
Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 170 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years.
Rachel Grant, Director of Communications and Advocacy, CEPI
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]
Caption and Credit: Male And Female Scientists Using Microscopes In Laboratory, Monkey Business Images