CEPI launches $3.5bn plan to tackle risk of future pandemics and epidemics

CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, has launched a US$3.5 billion plan to dramatically reduce or even eliminate the future risk of pandemics and epidemics, potentially averting millions of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic damage.

CEPI’s five-year plan sets out ambitious initiatives to build a future world that is better equipped to deal with these devastating diseases.

As part of the plan, CEPI announced its “moonshot” objective to help compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, about a third of the time that it took the world to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

Launched in 2017, CEPI has played a central role in the global response to COVID-19, creating the world’s largest portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines and helping to make 2 billion doses equitably accessible to 190 participating economies through COVAX in 2021.

During this period, CEPI has also overseen several scientific breakthroughs in developing vaccines against other infectious diseases, including the first phase 3 trial of a Chikungunya vaccine and the advancement of the first ever Nipah virus and Lassa virus vaccines into phase 1 clinical trials.

However, there is an urgent need to do more to mitigate the immediate threat of COVID-19 variants and to prepare now, for the next pandemic.

CEPI is calling on governments, global health organisations, and strategic partners to back this critical investment in global health security, taking advantage of the revolution in vaccinology that has been catalysed by COVID-19.

CEPI’s plan will not only accelerate vaccine development and reduce the threat posed by future epidemics and pandemics, it will also enable equitable access to these life-saving innovations for the most vulnerable populations. As a globally recognised organising force for R&D collaboration and innovation, CEPI is uniquely placed to coordinate this international approach.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the time from the release of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence to the submission of Pfizer/BioNTech Phase 3 clinical trial data for regulatory review was 314 days.

“We are at a critical point in human history. We now have the tools to dramatically reduce or eliminate the risk of future epidemics and pandemics. Achieving such a goal will take a coordinated and collective global response, and CEPI’s contributions will be central to this long-term global effort,” said CEPI CEO Dr Richard Hatchett.

“We must invest now in the vaccines and biologic countermeasures that we need, while linking these investments with commitments to equitable access. The $3.5 billion CEPI needs to implement our five-year strategy represents a critical down payment towards the goal of a world safe from the devastating effects of epidemic and pandemic diseases.”

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