From advancing vaccine candidates to funding the development of new platform technologies, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is an initiative on the move.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an observer member of GloPID-R, is working to fill critical gaps within the vaccine ecosystem. Some of its recent work includes:
- Moving vaccine candidates through late preclinical studies through to proof of concept and safety in humans before epidemics begin. The aim is that large effectiveness trials can begin swiftly in an outbreak and small investigational stockpiles are ready for use in an outbreak — ‘just in case’ for better preparedness.
- Funding the development of new platform technologies for the rapid development of vaccines against new and unknown pathogens (e.g., 16 weeks from identification of antigen to product release for clinical trials) – ‘just in time’ for a faster response.
- Coordinating activities to improve the collective response to epidemics—involving stockpiling and procurement, regulatory pathways, biological standards, assays, and animal models.
Since its launch, CEPI has announced two calls for proposals (CfPs).
The first CfP was for candidate vaccines against its priority pathogens: MERS-CoV, Nipah virus, and Lassa virus. These were chosen from the WHO’s R&D Blueprint list for Action to Prevent Epidemics and prioritised based on a set of criteria including the risk of an outbreak occurring, transmissibility of the pathogen, burden of disease, and feasibility of vaccine development.
As of 10 October 2018, CEPI has announced seven partnership agreements under CfP1 and now has 11 vaccine candidates in its portfolio. Their latest partnership agreement is with The Jenner Institute, at the University of Oxford and Janssen Vaccines & Prevention BV to advance the development of vaccines against MERS, Lassa, and Nipah.
CEPI’s second CfP was for the development of platforms that can be used for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens. The call received a diversity of applications from developed and developing countries and from a range of academic institutions, biotechs, large pharmaceutical companies, and Product Development Partnerships. The partnership awardees will be announced over the next few months.