The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in 2017, by the governments of Norway and India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum.
The coalition was established following the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014-2015. where international stakeholders decided to develop vaccines to fight the epidemic.
CEPI is a partnership of public, private and humanitarian organisations that will stimulate, coordinate and fund the development of vaccines against selected diseases, particularly where development does not occur through market incentives.
CEPI will prevent epidemics by developing vaccines against potential epidemic diseases so that the vaccines are ready for testing early in an outbreak, thus helping to limit the outbreak and prevent an epidemic.
New and unknown diseases are certain to arise so CEPI will support the development of vaccine platforms where new infectious agents can be inserted into an already proven vaccine for rapid manufacture and testing to fight outbreaks. In this way, we can establish preparedness against unexpected diseases.
CEPI has moved quickly since launch
Growing support from donors
To date, CEPI has secured over $750 million toward its $1 billion funding target, with financial support provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, and the governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway and the UK.
Calls for Proposals successfully announced
Since its launch, CEPI has announced three Calls for Proposals (CfP). The first CfP supports candidate vaccines against MERS-CoV and Nipah and Lassa viruses. These were chosen from a priority list established by the WHO in its R&D Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics.
The second CfP will advance rapid response platforms against unknown pathogens.
CEPI’s third CfP, issued January 4, 2019, will support vaccines against Rift Valley fever and Chikungunya viruses.
Partnership agreements launched
To date, CEPI has committed to investing up to $350 million in 12 vaccine candidates (five against Lassa virus, four against MERS-CoV, three against Nipah virus) and three vaccine platforms to develop vaccines against Disease X. CEPI has a number of additional partnerships under negotiation.
CEPI’s vaccine development partners include: Emergent Biosolutions, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V., Imperial College, IDT Biologika, Inovio, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Profectus Biosciences, PATH, Themis Bioscience, CureVac, University of Oxford, University of Tokyo and University of Queensland.
These partnership agreements represent just the start of CEPI’s product development portfolio.
Moving from a start-up to an established global organisation
CEPI is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and has offices in London, UK, and Washington DC in the United States. A permanent Secretariat and CEO have been in place since 2017 and a new permanent governance structure has been implemented over the past year, establishing a more agile and independent Board, strengthening the Secretariat’s executive role, adjusting the size and composition of the Scientific Advisory Committee, and focussing the activities of the Joint Coordination Group on CEPI’s portfolio of vaccines.
For more information about CEPI, go to the international CEPI website.