The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), announced in early March 2020 that it will be providing a further US$ 4.4 million to rapidly advance two COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
CEPI will be expanding its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio through the investment of US$ 4.4 million in partnership agreements with Novavax, Inc. and The University of Oxford to accelerate develop vaccine candidates against COVID-19. This brings CEPI’s total investment in COVID-19 vaccine R&D to US$23.7 million.
CEPI will provide initial funding to Novavax to enable preparations for Phase I trials.
Novavax has produced multiple nanoparticle vaccine candidates which are also currently being assessed to identify the best candidate for human testing – expected to launch by the end of spring 2020. It is also creating COVID-19 candidates using proprietary recombinant protein nanoparticle technology platform to generate antigens derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein.
Funding for The University of Oxford project will support the manufacture of vaccine materials required for preclinical and Phase I testing. Earlier this year, CEPI announced initial funding to Curevac Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Moderna, Inc., and University of Queensland to develop COVID-19 vaccine candidates using innovative platform technologies.
The investments announced in March 2020 are a result of a recent global call for proposals that CEPI issued in early February, which invited funding applications for proven vaccine technology that could be used to rapidly develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus, and most importantly at scale and with the necessary equitable access provisions.
“COVID-19 is having huge impact on individuals, societies, and economies. CEPI is working at speed to develop a vaccine, which will be crucial in the world’s efforts to tackle this virus. CEPI has so far invested in the development of 6 vaccine candidates against COVID-19.” Shared Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI.
“Investing in vaccine development now is an investment in the future health of all our societies. An urgent, global, concerted effort is now needed to raise the money required to advance the development of COVID-19 vaccines,” he added. [APBN]