21 Jul 2020
CEPI has today extended its Call for Proposals to support the rapid development of vaccines against COVID-19, in parallel to ensuring that associated manufacturing capabilities and capacities will meet global demand for a vaccine as quickly as possible.
The extended Call aims to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines with the goal of achieving licensure or emergency authorisation, for vaccines shown to be safe and effective, within an accelerated 12-18 month (or less) timeframe. With billions of doses of a successful vaccine needed to end the acute phase of the pandemic, vaccine developers who can rapidly manufacture at-scale and ensure global supply of vaccine doses are particularly encouraged to apply.
CEPI has moved at pace in response to the pandemic and has established the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Built on the principles of speed, scale and access, the portfolio currently contains nine promising vaccine candidates, with seven already in clinical trials. Through COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator launched in partnership with Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), our ultimate goal is to provide an end-to-end solution to develop, manufacture and equitably deliver up to 2 billion doses of vaccine by the end of 2021, saving millions of lives and transforming the economic prospects of societies around the world.
To achieve this goal, CEPI is expanding and diversifying its portfolio to increase our chances of finding a successful vaccine which can be manufactured at scale. This Call for Proposals—an extension of our second COVID-19 vaccine Call for Proposals issued in May 2020 (for which the review process is ongoing)—is open to all types of vaccine development organisations worldwide and seeks to fund the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development which meet the principles of speed, scale, and access.
Director of Vaccine Research and Development, CEPI
The extended Call is intended to target organisations which seek additional support to expand their COVID-19 vaccine global development plans, having already secured resources for a vaccine candidate for a given COVID-19 target indication or region. In particular, CEPI would like to engage vaccine developers with innovative COVID-19 vaccine technologies that have already or are soon to be proven, and with a track record of bringing vaccine candidates through development, including licensure and manufacturing. As a single-dose vaccine could mean that billions of people around the world can be vaccinated more quickly and easily, while also reducing costs, environmental impact, and potential attrition rates which can occur when patients have to return to a clinic to receive multiple doses of a vaccine, the new Call will more favourably review applications to advance single-dose COVID-19 vaccines.
If successful, CEPI will provide financial support and expertise to such organisations as they conduct large-scale clinical trials, scale-up manufacturing to increase the number of potential doses available and/or scale-out production capacity to widen their geographical manufacturing footprint.
CEPI is committed to the principle of universal, equitable and affordable access to vaccines. CEPI is a co-lead on the vaccine pillar (COVAX) of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and work is ongoing to develop a global mechanism to procure and fairly allocate COVID-19 vaccines (COVAX Facility). Awardees receiving funds through this Call for Proposals will be required to supply and sell vaccines to the COVAX Facility in quantities reflective of the funding received and at fair prices that are sustainable to the manufacturer.
Funding for this Call for Proposals will be provided by CEPI with anticipated support towards the research and development aspects, including clinical trials, from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, European Commission
Costs related to scale up/out of manufacturing will be financed exclusively by CEPI.