The World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has announced a $10 million grant to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation in support of efforts to develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.
Launched by the United Nations Foundation in partnership with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund has raised more than $140 million in support of WHO's global response to the pandemic. The grant will support CEPI's ongoing efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine through partnerships with universities and research institutions around the world.
To that end, two CEPI-supported vaccine candidates have entered the human trial phase: the first, developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle; and the second, a candidate developed by biotechnology company Inovio in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, at the University of Pennsylvania and Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City. CEPI will need additional funding to take these and other vaccine candidates through later stages of clinical testing and, ultimately, prepare a vaccine for global distribution.
"We are profoundly grateful for people's generosity in donating to CEPI through the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund," said CEPI chief executive Richard Hatchett. "COVID-19 is a disease [that] doesn't respect borders and against which we must all be united. Vaccines are one of our most important weapons in fighting this disease, and this money will be critical in ensuring we can continue our efforts to develop a vaccine as fast as we can to protect the world from this disease."
"While it will take time to develop, a vaccine is a critical tool for the long-term control of COVID-19," said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "Research is one of the critical pillars of the response plan, and funding research is one of the reasons the Solidarity Response Fund was set up. I am glad to see funds flowing towards vaccine research."
(Image credit: CEPI)