Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

The global coalition is expanding its vaccine portfolio to include Chikungunya and Rift Valley fever, two emerging infectious diseases with epidemic potential.

This transmission electron microscopic (TEM) image depicted a highly magnified view of a tissue that had been infected with the Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus.
This transmission electron microscopic (TEM) image depicted a highly magnified view of a tissue that had been infected with the Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus. Photo Credit: United States Center for Disease Control

Two years after its launch at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an observer member of GLOPID-R, has broadened its portfolio to include the development of vaccines against two further viruses – Rift Valley fever and Chikungunya.

CEPI is expanding its list of target pathogens to include these viruses following wide consultation and advice from its Scientific Advisory Committee and based on the principles of feasibility of vaccine development and the potential public health benefit that would be derived from successfully deploying a vaccine against these devastating diseases.

All together, $48million of funding will be made available to advance vaccine candidates against Rift Valley fever and Chikungunya, with anticipated support from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Partnerships are expected to be announced later this year.

As of February 2019, CEPI has committed to investing over $270 million to develop five vaccine candidates against Lassa virus, four against MERS-CoV, and two against Nipah virus. They are also supporting the development of innovative rapid-response technologies in response to new and emerging threats. Two vaccine platform technology partnerships have recently been established for the purpose of rapid response to Disease X, where CEPI will work with Imperial College London and University of Queensland. These partners’ new technologies are potentially transformative and aim to reduce the time it takes to develop vaccines from years to a matter of weeks. The toolbox of technologies will be complemented by additional partnerships.

To address the critical knowledge gaps and tools needed for rational and accelerated vaccine development, and to provide future access to a licensed product, CEPI has set up an enabling sciences program.

Epidemiological knowledge gaps, critical for vaccine development and disease burden assessment, are addressed through projects in affected countries. Through collaboration with external partners, CEPI ensures diagnostics validation, training and capacity strengthening is addressed.

To facilitate comparison of vaccine candidates and appropriate assays serving future licensing, CEPI has also established partnerships to develop biological standards and assays. CEPI is dependent on the scientific community and product developers to reach its goals, and engagement of these groups are hence core to success.

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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.