$2 Billion Funding Call Initiated By CEPI

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development effort seeking 2 billion in funding

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The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced an urgent call for $2 billion to support the development of a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for causing the COVID-19 disease in humans.

This CEPI funding call’s goal is to have at least 3 vaccine candidates to begin human clinical trials.

Dr. Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer, CEPI, said in a press release published on March 6, 2020, ‘It is increasingly clear that containment measures for COVID-19 can only slow down its spread and the virus is now entering a stage of unprecedented threat in terms of its global impact.’ 

‘While we heartily support the range of public health measures that governments are putting in place to protect their populations, it is critical that we also invest in the development of a vaccine that will prevent people from getting sick in the first place.’ 

‘Working as part of the global response, CEPI has committed $100 million of its own funds and moved with unprecedented speed to initiate a program of vaccine development with the goal of having vaccine candidates in early-stage human clinical trials in as little as 16 weeks.’ 

‘However, these funds will be fully allocated by the end of March and without immediate additional financial contributions, the vaccine programs we have begun will not be able to progress and ultimately will not deliver the vaccines that the world needs’, concluded Dr. Hatchett.

CEPI has identified 5 funding phases, which are as follows:

  1. $100m immediately, to support - Vaccine development for 8 candidates through phase 1 clinical trials.
  2. $375m by END OF MARCH, to support the manufacturing of clinical trial material for phase 2/3 trials for 4-6 vaccine candidates; preparation of phase 2/3 trials for 4-6 vaccine candidates (potential initiation of phase 2 trial for 1 candidate); Initial investments to expand global manufacturing capacity. These investments are needed to ensure the vaccine is ultimately available at scale and globally.
  3. $400m by END OF JUNE, to support - Execution of phase 2/3 trials for at least 2 candidates; Preparation of phase 2/3 clinical trials in a number of locations globally; Production of the additional phase 2/3 clinical trial material; Further investment in scaling up / technology transfer of manufacturing process for up to 6 candidates.
  4. $400m by END OF SEPTEMBER, to support - Conduct of phase 2/3 clinical trials for additional 4 candidates in a number of locations globally; Investment in large-scale manufacturing capacity for at least 3 vaccine candidates.
  5. $500-750m in 2021, to support - Enhancing global manufacturing capacity with tech transfer to geographically; distributed locations of up to 3 candidates; Completion of clinical trial testing; Completion of regulatory and quality requirements for at least 3 vaccines; Preparation of regulatory dossiers for emergency authorization/licensure submission.

Furthermore, CEPI said ‘To ensure availability of funds and reflecting the many uncertainties that still surround COVID-19, the World Bank has created a financial vehicle whereby funds can be returned to donors if not used for the response or if the epidemiological picture changes and vaccine development is deemed unwarranted.’

Alternatively, at the donor’s discretion, ‘funds may be retained at the World Bank for use in a future Disease X scenario.’

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations, launched in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has reached over US$750 million of its $1 billion funding target.

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development news published by Precision Vaccinations.