Research and development funding for vaccines announced

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is an alliance to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics. It was formed in 2017 in response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Emerging infectious diseases that CEPI are aiming to create vaccines for include MERS-CoV, Nipah, Lassa, Rift Valley fever and Chikungunya viruses, as well as aiming to develop advance rapid response platforms against unknown pathogens. CEPI has received over $740 million of funding from governments and charitable organisations.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced the UK government will give £10 million of funding to CEPI to help develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. This funding is in addition to the committed investment of £120 million between 2016 and 2021 for the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN), also for the development of vaccines for worldwide epidemic diseases, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Five of the 12 pathogens the UKVN is prioritising vaccine development for are the same as those prioritised by CEPI.

CEPI and UKVN are further shown to be working together through CEPI partnering with Imperial College and the UKVN, for the development of a self-amplifying RNA vaccine platform that enables tailored vaccine production against multiple viral pathogens.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

“Diseases like Ebola and Lassa fever tear communities and families apart, causing untold amounts of harm and suffering. As a global community, we must keep trying to find new ways to beat diseases like this and making them a thing of the past.

We have a proud history of being at the forefront of tackling diseases around the world, such as the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and will continue to do so by backing this vital work with CEPI to help protect people everywhere.”

The DHSC news story is available here

The CEPI news report on the DHSC funding is available here

The CEPI Imperial partnership news report is available here

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Published 25. January 2019 in News, News UK