Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
The concept is to develop early phases of vaccines without knowing the details for the form in which the infection will appear, but will still cut down the time to tailor the eventual vaccine to be effective to the epidemic.
Its plan includes preparations for possible outbreaks of Lassa fever, Marburg fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), SARS, Nipah virus, Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, and others. It is being funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the governments of Norway, Germany, Japan and India.
As of April 2018, it has invested $37.5 million in Austria-based Themis Bioscience and $56 million in US-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop vaccine candidates against Lassa fever and MERS.
They published a study in the Lancet in 2018 which estimated the costs of developing vaccines for diseases that could escalate into global humanitarian crises. They focused on 11 diseases which cause relatively few deaths at present and primarily strike the poor. They estimated that it would cost between $2.8 billion and $3.7 billion to develop at least one vaccine for each of them. This should be set against the potential cost of an outbreak. The 2003 SARS outbreak in East Asia cost $54 billion.
- John Cohen (2 September 2016). "New vaccine coalition aims to ward off epidemics". Science. 353 (6303).
- "Putting shots in the locker". The Economist. 420 (9003): 67–68. 3 September 2016.
- "Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations".
- "CEPI Partners with Themis Bioscience to Advance Vaccines Against Lassa Fever and MERS – Press Release". Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- "Inovio Awarded up to $56 Million from CEPI to Advance DNA Vaccines Against Lassa Fever and MERS – Press Release". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- "Scientists have estimated the cost of stopping 11 diseases that could kill millions in a pandemic". Vox. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.