CEPI’s $3.5bn plan to tackle the outbreaks of today and tomorrow

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an observer member of GloPID-R, has played a key role in efforts to develop and deploy COVID-19 vaccines. It’s also planning for future threats.

CEPI’s $3.5bn plan to tackle the outbreaks of today and tomorrow

The global COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment effort has been truly remarkable. Over 1.8 billion shots have been administered worldwide, including nearly 78 million doses through COVAX, our global initiative with Gavi, the World Health Organization (WHO), and delivery partner UNICEF, to enable doses to reach vulnerable populations in all countries.

CEPI has been central to these efforts, rapidly building one of the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccine portfolios, supporting enabling sciences and vaccine manufacturing work, and including access requirements into our agreements with vaccine developers to secure supply of doses to COVAX.

While we continue to urgently push for greater vaccine equity and respond to the emergence of novel variants, this is not the only current focus for CEPI. Knowing that the next pandemic is not a case of if, but when means that we are also using this unique, historic, and rare alignment of lived experience, recognition of scientific power, and political will to advance global pandemic preparedness.

In March 2021, CEPI launched its forward-looking $3.5bn plan which seeks to reduce or even mitigate the risk of future epidemic and pandemic threats. Under the strategic pillars of prepare, transform and connect, the five-year strategy includes several ambitious programmes which aim to build upon the lessons of COVID-19 to create a suite of new, life-saving tools to fight the next big outbreak.

One area of focus for CEPI seeks to reduce the vaccine development timeline to a 100-day target. Faster research, production, and deployment would not only have saved many of the 3.3 million lives lost so far to COVID-19, it would also have prevented trillions of dollars of economic damage and limited or possibly have prevented the emergence of novel variants which could impact vaccine performance.

Global scientific collaboration, substantial funding, and ongoing political support will be critical to achieving this 100-day ambition. This will allow for significant investments to be made in pioneering technologies and innovative trial designs which can shorten the research and clinical evaluation process.

In its quest to meet the speedy goal, CEPI will also be developing a library of vaccines to work against whole virus families, as an alternative to current methods aiming to develop the tools against each individual virus threat. Having such a library of prototype vaccines, which could be pulled off the shelf, and advanced into clinical testing as soon as a related threat emerges, would dramatically accelerate the development of vaccines.

Of the $3.5bn investment target, $1bn is earmarked for CEPI’s continuing response to COVID-19. This includes building the next generation of COVID-19 vaccine candidates as well as advancing vaccines which can protect against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants and other coronaviruses. Up to $200m in funding is being made available to expedite the development of an all-encompassing Betacoronavirus shot. The plan will also advance CEPI’s work, launched prior to the pandemic, investing in vaccine candidates against known threats such as chikungunya, Lassa virus, and Nipah virus.

Learn more about CEPI’s $3.5bn plan to end pandemics
CEPI and its COVAX partners have made a joint call to world leaders to equip COVAX to deliver 2 billion doses in 2021.
Read the statement

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.