Norway provides NOK 36 million additional funding to CEPI in response to COVID-19

Jodie Rogers
Annotation 2020-02-17 151612

As part of the urgent global response to the ongoing increase in cases and spread of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), the Government of Norway has announced an additional NOK 36 million funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to advance the development of vaccine candidates against the novel coronavirus.

The increased investment, which will support CEPI's COVID-19 vaccine programmes that use pioneering technologies to rapidly speed up the development of vaccines, was announced by Prime Minister Erna Solberg following the Munich Security Conference, held in Munich, Germany, last week.

Tens of thousands of confirmed cases have been reported in over 25 countries, with over 1700 deaths. In January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

In coordination with WHO, as it leads the international response, CEPI is promoting the development of new vaccines against the emerging threat of COVID-19, including three programmes with existing partners Inovio, the University of Queensland and CureVac, as well as a new partnership with Moderna Inc., and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms to advance vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible — with an aspiration to bring a new pathogen from gene sequence to clinical testing in 16 weeks.

CEPI has also run a funding call for proposals to rapidly develop and manufacture already proven vaccine technologies that can be used against the new coronavirus. In addition, GSK recently announced a collaboration which will see its established pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform technology made available to enhance the development of an effective vaccine against the virus behind the disease.

In a press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Health and Care Services, Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg said:

In situations like this, when there is an outbreak of a disease that has the potential to develop into an epidemic, the international community has a shared responsibility to ensure global preparedness and take concerted action. Our funding to CEPI will be an important contribution to ensuring that vaccine development proceeds as quickly as possible.

Erna SolbergPrime Minister of Norway

Norway was one of CEPI's founding partners when the organisation launched in 2017 as the result of a consensus that a coordinated, international, and intergovernmental plan was needed to develop and deploy new vaccines to prevent future epidemics.

To date, Norway has provided NOK 1.6 billion to CEPI and the additional funding for this work has increased its annual contribution to a total of NOK 278 million. CEPI's headquarters are also based in the capital, Oslo.

Global health is a priority area of Norway's development policy. We provide substantial funding for global health efforts, but even more importantly, we have taken on a leading political and technical role in the field. We were at the forefront of the initiative to establish CEPI. This partnership could provide vital protection for the most vulnerable groups in poor countries with weak health systems, and thus save lives.

Dag-Inge UlsteinMinister of International Development, Norway

Norway is seeking to support the global response to the new coronavirus outbreak in the best possible way. Our support to CEPI is an important contribution to global health preparedness.

Bent HøieMinister of Health and Care Services, Norway

Close collaboration with global partners remains crucial to the success of CEPI's work to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks. To date, CEPI has now secured over USD $760 million of its $1 billion funding target, with funding from Norway, UK, Belgium, Germany, Japan, Canada, Ethiopia, Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome. The European Commission also provides substantial financial contributions to support relevant projects through its mechanisms.

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For further details on Norway's support to COVID-19 outbreak response efforts, please see their press release

Check our news page for CEPI's latest COVID-19 updates

For information on how to support CEPI's work to create a future in which epidemics are no longer a threat to humanity, please visit our Get Involved section of the website

Image: Closeup portrait, young scientist in labcoat wearing nitrile gloves, doing experiments in lab, academic sector. Credit: AshTProductions/ Shutterstock