Italy pledges first EUR 5 million funding to CEPI to advance COVID-19 vaccine development efforts

28 Oct 2020

By CEPI


Italy formally joins global coalition to accelerate development of life-saving vaccines.
Financial contribution will help advance CEPI’s diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio.
CEPI already working with a number of expert organisations in ItalyStevanato Group and Vismederi Srlto support vaccine development work.

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This announcement is also available to read in Italian on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy website.

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October, 28, 2020, Oslo, Norway and Rome, Italy – The Government of Italy has today formally joined the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), contributing €5 million (US $5.8 million)—the first part of an overall pledge of €10 million (US $11.7 million)—in investment to support CEPI and the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The financial contribution, made through Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and executed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), will advance CEPI’s portfolio—the largest in the world—of diverse COVID-19 vaccine technologies. The funding will also support potential investment into additional promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates to diversify and expand CEPI’s portfolio to increase the chances of developing multiple safe and effective vaccines.

CEPI’s goal is to progress at least three COVID-19 vaccine candidates to licensure.

Italy’s commitment to provide funding to CEPI was first announced by Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, at the Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference in May, as part of Italy’s strong engagement in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy is a co-founder and member of the Facilitation Council of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and will assume the Presidency of the G20, in 2021.

CEPI represents a key actor in pandemic preparedness and global health. Its current mission on the COVID-19 vaccine is crucial for all.

Italy, as a founding promoter of the ACT Accelerator and longstanding global health supporter, is proud to join and contribute to the coalition. Only together we can accelerate action to overcome the pandemic.

Hon. Emanuela Claudia Del Re

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy

COVID-19 is a global crisis which requires a global response. With over 1 million lives lost to this dreadful disease, it is imperative that we develop safe, effective and accessible COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to curb the spread of the pandemic.

We are very grateful for Italy’s contribution to our work advancing the development of vaccines against COVID-19 and, as coalition partners, will share knowledge, resources and expertise to minimise the devastating impact and help get our lives back on track.

Dr. Richard Hatchett

Chief Executive Officer, CEPI

CEPI’s response to COVID-19

CEPI moved quickly and in collaboration with its global health partners to initiate partnerships to expedite the development of COVID-19 vaccines. To date, eight of the nine CEPI-supported COVID-19 vaccines are in clinical testing, with three (University of Oxford, Novavax, and Moderna) already in late-stage efficacy trials.

In addition to vaccine development, CEPI has worked across the vaccine ecosystem to ensure COVID-19 vaccine/s can be licensed and delivered as quickly and effectively as possible. This includes the procurement of 100 million medical glass vials with Italian-based Stevanato Group to store and deliver up to 2 billion doses of future COVID-19 vaccine, and the establishment of a centralised network of laboratories around the world, including Vismederi Srl in Italy, which will use the same testing agents and follow the same methods to harmonise assessment of COVID-19 vaccine data.

Alongside Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO), CEPI is also co-leading COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator with the aim to develop, manufacture and equitably deliver up to 2 billion doses of vaccine by the end of 2021 to end the acute phase of the pandemic. Through ‘Team Europe’, Italy has joined the COVAX Facility, a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need, whoever they are and wherever they live. In addition, Italy, with a contribution of more than US $100 million, is one of the first countries to support the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a COVAX financing mechanism that will support 92 low- and middle-income countries’ access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

Urgent funding still needed to support CEPI’s efforts

Today’s donation by the Government of Italy joins a growing body of dedicated global partners coming together to support the development of a safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine against COVID-19.

To meet CEPI’s US $2.1 billion funding target, an additional US $800 million is still urgently needed to accelerate CEPI’s efforts.

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This announcement is also available to read in Italian on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy website.

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 -ENDS-
Notes to Editors
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 moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated nine partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes are leveraging rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships.

Before the emergence of COVID-19, CEPI’s priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

An additional US $800m is needed to support CEPI’s COVID-19 programmes. For investor enquiries, please email [email protected].

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About Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy

The Directorate-General for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is in charge of  the Italian contributions to the global response to COVID-19, including through specific multilateral contributions to several international organizations, UN entities and Global Funds.

Media Contacts
CEPI

Email: [email protected] |Phone: +44 7387 055214


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