Six private sector companies have pledged funds through the COVID-Zero initiative to support CEPI’s critical work to rapidly develop vaccines against the coronavirus.
In addition to an $8 million donation from The Avast Foundation, the charitable arm of the global antivirus software company Avast, financial commitments have also been pledged through Goldman Sachs Gives, The Duffs & Phelps Charitable Foundation, watchmakers A Collected Man, private equity firm General Catalyst, and property investment and development business Derwent London. The individual philanthropist Nigel Blackwell has also provided significant contributions to advance our efforts.
With over 3.1 million cases of COVID-19 and 217,000 deaths globally, the coronavirus pandemic remains an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis. The development of a safe, effective and globally accessible vaccine against the coronavirus is the most effective way to permanently halt the global spread of the disease.
Since early January, CEPI has worked quickly and in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners to rapidly develop vaccines against the coronavirus. We’ve made rapid progress. In the space of 3 months three of our COVID-19 vaccine development partners (Moderna, Inovio and University of Oxford) have started phase 1 trials to assess the safety of their vaccine candidates. Our ninth partnership, with Clover Biopharmaceuticals Australia, to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 was also announced earlier this week. Our ultimate goal is to develop safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, making hundreds of millions of doses available within 12-18 months.
Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines will also be ending this pandemic and it is a challenge that must be urgently and collectively addressed by governments, global health leaders, and regulators while COVID-19 vaccine development is continuing. CEPI is a founding member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, which will accelerate the development, production and deployment of safe and effective vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics against COVID-19 – making them accessible to everyone, worldwide.
The private sector contributions announced today come at a crucial time for CEPI. To date, $924 million of the $2 billion funding urgently needed to accelerate our work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and invest in the manufacturing capacity, has now been pledged by businesses, governments, individuals and philanthropies.
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
The new investments join donations already received from the private sector, including partners of the investment fund Citadel, the athletic clothing company LuluLemon, and gaming studios Ndemic Creations and WePlay.