News22 July 2020Brussels, BelgiumResearch and Innovation
Coronavirus: EU supports vaccine research with additional €100 million
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership created in 2017 to develop vaccines to prevent future epidemics, has launched a call to support the rapid development and global manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines. The EU will co-fund the call with €100 million.
The EU support is part of the pledge to invest €1 billion from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme, into urgently needed research and innovation to test, treat and prevent COVID-19. Half of this funding – 50 million – had been already planned under the partnership between the Commission and CEPI. The amount was doubled after the coronavirus outbreak.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
“We need efficient treatments and vaccines to eliminate the danger of the coronavirus. That is why we are proud to support CEPI in its endeavour to rapidly develop the most promising vaccine candidates.”
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, CEPI is working to rapidly develop a broad portfolio of the most advanced COVID-19 vaccine candidates and to ensure that these are ready to be produced at scale, in collaboration with industry partners. Through COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator launched in partnership with Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), CEPI’s ultimate goal is to provide an end-to-end solution to develop, manufacture and equitably deliver up to two billion doses of vaccine by the end of 2021. The Horizon 2020 support to CEPI will fund research and innovation activities but not manufacturing of vaccines.
The new call is an extension of CEPI’s second COVID-19 vaccine call for proposals launched in May. It is open until the end of September but proposals will be evaluated every three weeks in order to secure research funding in a timely manner.
As part of the Coronavirus Global Response initiative led by President Ursula von den Leyen, €15.9 billion has been pledged for universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus and for the global recovery.
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. In response to the emergence of COVID-19, CEPI has initiated nine partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes are leveraging rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships.
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 and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).