Wellcome Trust COVID-19 Response Updates
The Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator – which is co-funded and co-hosted by donors including Wellcome – has awarded £8 million to DNDi. This will help Dr Benjamin Perry to continue leading the Covid-19 Moonshot project initiated in 2020, to conduct research towards an oral treatment that can significantly improve patient outcomes in low-resource settings, removing the need for a vaccine cold chain or an injection. The goal is to advance a novel SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitor compound to Phase I readiness, in anticipation of future clinical trials.
As part of the ACT-A Therapeutics Pillar’s Covid-19 Oxygen Emergency Taskforce, which is co-funded by Unitaid and Wellcome, Unitaid and the Clinton Health Access Initiative have brokered agreements with two of the world’s largest oxygen suppliers, Air Liquide and Linde. These suppliers are working with ACT-A global health partners to facilitate equitable access to oxygen in a number of priority LMICs, to meet emergency needs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wellcome and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) have awarded nearly £1 million to COG-UK and Wellcome Connecting Science (WCS) to support the global scientific and public health community in SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing for the surveillance of variants and associated research. Together, they will develop a series of online, open-access courses on all aspects of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing based on WCS’s successful use of the FutureLearn platform.
Wellcome has awarded over £8 million to support generation and sharing of SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences in more than 25 LMICs in Africa and Southeast Asia. This comes via awards which leverage Wellcome’s long-standing support for several Africa and Asia Programmes, along with Wits Health Consortium and the Wellcome-funded ARTIC Network.