13 Mar 2020
Oslo, Norway; March 12, 2020: The German Government’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research announced, on March 11, an additional €140 million (US$157 million) to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations’ (CEPI’s) efforts to accelerate the development of a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
Germany joins the Governments of Norway and the UK, who have also provided specific funding to CEPI to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. On Feb 17, Norway announced an additional NOK 36 million ($3.6 million) and on March 6 the UK announced a further £20 million ($25 million) funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance the development of vaccine candidates against the COVID-19 virus.
In addition to committing $100 million of its own funds, CEPI has now received $186 million of the $2 billion it estimates is needed to take a COVID-19 vaccine candidate through to licensure and broader use.
On March 10, CEPI announced the expansion of its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. CEPI announced investments worth $4.4 million in partnering agreements with Novavax, Inc. and The University of Oxford to rapidly develop vaccine candidates against COVID-19. CEPI’s investment in COVID-19 vaccine R&D currently stands at $23.7 million.
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.
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.
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 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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Image caption and Credit: 3D print of a SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—virus particle. The virus surface (blue) is covered with spike proteins (red) that enable the virus to enter and infect human cells. For more information, visit the NIH 3D Print Exchange at 3dprint.nih.gov. Credit: NIH