The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has amassed around $500-million budget for the development of vaccines against life-threatening viruses. The private entity-led coalition received its funding in a form of pledges and donations from various foundations and governments across the world. The initiative will primarily focus on three viral threats: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)-coronavirus, Lassa, and Nipah.
The CEPI will start with the development of vaccines within the next five years. A large chunk of CEPI’s funding at $260 million came from various governments, including Japan, Norway and Germany. But popular foundations, such as Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have pledged financial support amounting to $100 million for the program, the Science Magazine reported.
CEPI, which was formed after the Ebola virus scare hit the world in 2014, is one of the world’s leading multisector-led initiatives for vaccine development. But CEPI’s interim president John-Arne Røttingen, admitted that there is still a lot to be done. He hopes that more countries would continue to pledge financial support for their cause.
Jeremy Farrar, who is a member of CEPI’s interim board, told Science Mag that funds are already available to tell the world that this can be done. Part of the program is to call for proposals and studies from various laboratories and researchers for vaccines. From these proposals, the coalition will pick the most promising ones. These will now go through the rigorous process of vaccine development.
The Need for More Vaccines
“There are as many as 50 pathogens that could emerge, and we’d like CEPI to be so successful that 10 or 20 years from now, we’ll have a vaccine for every one of them. You’ll do more than just produce three vaccines. You’ll transform the way we think about vaccines and the pipeline,” Farrar said.
Before the end of 2017, CEPI expects to raise a whopping $1-million fund, needed for the five-year vaccination development program. The entire process of developing an effective vaccine is a multi-stage. It usually takes years before an effective and commercially viable vaccine is produced.