June 09, 2020, Oslo, Norway & Athens, Greece – The Government of Greece has today formally announced an investment of US $1.6 million (€1.5 million) in funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), to support its efforts to accelerate the development of vaccines against COVID-19.
The donation, first announced by Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, at the European-Commission led Global Coronavirus Response pledging event on 4 May, will contribute to CEPI’s US $2 billion in funding urgently required to advance the development of a safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine against COVID-19.
Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said:
Prime Minister of Greece
Welcoming the commitment Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said:
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
In response to the global crisis, CEPI has worked urgently and in coordination with its partners, investing in nine COVID-19 vaccine programmes to date.
Built on the principles of speed, scale and access, CEPI’s diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio includes a number of modern and innovative approaches, to increase the world’s chances of finding a successful vaccine. The ultimate goal is to speed up the vaccine development timeframe to develop a successful COVID-19 vaccine in an accelerated 12-18 month timeframe.
Four of CEPI’s programmes—with vaccine developers Moderna, Inc., Inovio, University of Oxford and Novavax, Inc.—have now entered clinical trials. Additional partnerships are likely to be funded in the coming months to maximise the number of shots on goal in finding a safe and effective vaccine.
It is anticipated that vaccines produced across these programmes will be procured and allocated through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility[i], an instrument of the Vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, at all levels of development, that wish to participate. Launched by the World Health Organization and global leaders in April, the ACT Accelerator is an international initiative which aims to accelerate the development, production and deployment of safe and effective diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines against COVID-19 – making them accessible to everyone, worldwide.
Today’s pledge marks Greece’s first contribution to CEPI and joins a growing number of investors, including sovereign governments, private sector organisations, individuals and philanthropic institutions, donating to CEPI to support the development a COVID-19 vaccine within the 12-18 month timeline ambition.
The funding, to be made through the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings CEPI’s total financial pledges to develop vaccines against COVID-19 to US $1.4 billion.
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CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated 9 partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships. The aim is to advance COVID-19 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible.
Before the emergence of COVID-19 CEPI’s priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).
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[i] The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility is an instrument of the Vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator within which CEPI works in partnership with Gavi and the World Health Organisation. The international initiative, launched by the World Health Organization and global leaders in April, aims to accelerate the development, production and deployment of safe and effective diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines against COVID-19 – making them accessible to everyone, worldwide.
Caption: Scientist using a microscope in a laboratory, testing for Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: wavebreakmedia/ Shutterstock