05 May 2020
OSLO, NORWAY. 5 MAY 2020 – CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, is today issuing a new Call for Proposals inviting organizations around the world to apply for funding to speed up development, scale-up manufacturing capacity, and expand the geographical footprint of production of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
The Call for Proposals will be open until at least 30 June 2020 with applications reviewed on a rolling basis every two weeks. It will support the rapid development of vaccines which could be available for licensure in 12-18 months or less, and increase the availability of vaccines for wide-spread global deployment.
Billions of doses of vaccine are needed as soon as possible to bring the pandemic to an end around the world, so this Call has a particular emphasis on vaccine manufacturing capacity and the capabilities to deliver global development plans. Applicants will be required to demonstrate both their ability to rapidly develop their vaccine candidate, as well as manufacture it at scale.
Since January 2020 CEPI has acted at pace to establish a COVID-19 vaccine development portfolio comprising nine promising vaccine candidates, three of which are already in clinical testing. In parallel we have been closely monitoring the global vaccine development landscape with a view to enlarging our portfolio as and when resourcing allows.
Following last week’s launch of the landmark ACT Accelerator and in line with CEPI’s strategy to continually seek to build a portfolio with the best chance of success, CEPI is seeking to expand and diversify its portfolio. By supporting a broad and balanced portfolio, including a range of vaccine technologies and geographical manufacturing locations, CEPI is seeking to maximize the likelihood of rapidly delivering safe, effective and globally accessible vaccines against COVID-19.
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
This Call for Proposals aims to support organisations and partnerships to significantly accelerate the development and licensure of vaccines, as well as scale-up manufacturing capacity, and expand the footprint of vaccine production. We therefore encourage Multi-National Companies (MNCs), companies in the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) and other vaccine/ biologic developers to apply.
Applications for funding are particularly welcome from organizations which already have resources to make a vaccine candidate available for a target region, and which need support from CEPI to expand global development plans, run large clinical trials, and/ or widen the geographical manufacturing footprint.
It is anticipated that vaccines funded under this Call for Proposals will be procured and allocated through global mechanisms now under discussion as part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, an international initiative launched by the WHO and global leaders last month.
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at the World Economic Forum 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).
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global emergency. 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 nine 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: Production and filling on a pharmaceutical conveyor belt with bottles and a worker/ iStock.