Private sector partners join COVID-Zero to advance CEPI’s COVID-19 vaccine programmes

01 May 2020

By CEPI


Six private sector companies have pledged funds through the COVID-Zero initiative to support CEPI’s critical work to rapidly develop vaccines against the coronavirus.

In addition to an $8 million donation from The Avast Foundation, the charitable arm of the global antivirus software company Avast, financial commitments have also been pledged through Goldman Sachs Gives, The Duffs & Phelps Charitable Foundation, watchmakers A Collected Man, private equity firm General Catalyst, and property investment and development business Derwent London. The individual philanthropist Nigel Blackwell has also provided significant contributions to advance our efforts.

With over 3.1 million cases of COVID-19 and 217,000 deaths globally, the coronavirus pandemic remains an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis. The development of a safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine against the coronavirus is the most effective way to permanently halt the global spread of the disease.

Since early January, CEPI has worked quickly and in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners to rapidly develop vaccines against the coronavirus. We’ve made rapid progress. In the space of 3 months three of our COVID-19 vaccine development partners (Moderna, Inovio and University of Oxford) have started phase 1 trials to assess the safety of their vaccine candidates. Our ninth partnership, with Clover Biopharmaceuticals Australia, to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 was also announced earlier this week. Our ultimate goal is to develop safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, making hundreds of millions of doses available within 12-18 months.

Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines will also be ending this pandemic and it is a challenge that must be urgently and collectively addressed by governments, global health leaders, and regulators while COVID-19 vaccine development is continuing. CEPI is a founding member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which will accelerate the development, production and deployment of safe and effective vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics against COVID-19 – making them accessible to everyone, worldwide.

The private sector contributions announced today come at a crucial time for CEPI. To date, $924 million of the $2 billion funding urgently needed to accelerate our work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and invest in the manufacturing capacity, has now been pledged by businesses, governments, individuals and philanthropies.

We are delighted to welcome our new private sector partners to the coalition, supporting our work to rapidly develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Vaccines are one of our most effective public health tools and represent our way out of this pandemic. Through joining the COVID-Zero initiative and providing significant financial contributions to CEPI, our new donors help ensure that we can continue our vaccine programmes at pace, with the ambition of developing a safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine within a 12-to-18 month timeframe.

We continue to call on the private sector, governments and philanthropic organisations to step up and provide the vital financial support necessary to end this pandemic.

Dr. Richard Hatchett

Chief Executive Officer, CEPI

The new investments join donations already received from the private sector, including partners of the investment fund Citadel, the athletic clothing company LuluLemon, and gaming studios Ndemic Creations and WePlay.

No individual, business or economy in the world has been left untouched by COVID-19. It is a huge problem – but a solvable one. Businesses can help by funding R&D to overcome the impact of the virus.
Let’s reach COVID-Zero. Join the coalition to find out how your business can get involved.
CEPI has also partnered with the UN Foundation, who can accept individual donations on behalf of CEPI, as part of their COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

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