Milestones :: Perspectives

Milestones :: Perspectives

Global partnership launched to prevent epidemics with new vaccines
Media release, Davos 18 Jan 2017 – Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
A global coalition to create new vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, designed to help give the world an insurance policy against epidemics, launches today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

With an initial investment of US$460m from the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway, plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, CEPI – the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations will seek to outsmart epidemics by developing safe and effective vaccines against known infectious disease threats that could be deployed rapidly to contain outbreaks, before they become global health emergencies.

CEPI also hopes to shorten the time it takes to develop new vaccines to protect against viruses that emerge suddenly as public health threats, as Zika did recently, by capitalising on exciting developments in adaptable vaccine technology and investing in facilities that could respond quickly to previously unknown pathogens.

Today’s financial commitments mean that CEPI has raised almost half of the $1bn it needs for its first five years, and it is now calling for proposals from researchers and companies around the world to support the development of vaccines against its first target diseases.

CEPI will initially target the MERS-CoV, Lassa and Nipah viruses, which have known potential to cause serious epidemics. It aims to develop two promising vaccine candidates against each of these diseases before any epidemic, so these are available without delay if and when an outbreak begins. CEPI will also scope out potential support for vaccines against multiple strains of the Ebola and Marburg viruses, and Zika.

To achieve all these goals, CEPI will need significant additional investment, and the initial CEPI funders are calling today for other governments and philanthropic organisations to join them in helping to protect the world against future epidemics. CEPI is looking to complete its fundraising by the end of 2017.

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, said: “Just over a year ago 193 states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals – the roadmap for the future we want. Epidemics threaten that future. They can ruin societies on a scale only matched by wars and natural disasters. They respect no borders and don’t care if we are rich or poor. Protecting the vulnerable is protecting ourselves. This is why we all must work together to be better prepared – and why my Government is fully committed to ensure that CEPI achieves its mission.”

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “Ebola and Zika showed that the world is tragically unprepared to detect local outbreaks and respond quickly enough to prevent them from becoming global pandemics. Without investments in research and development, we will remain unequipped when we face the next threat.

“The ability to rapidly develop and deliver vaccines when new ‘unknown’ diseases emerge offers our best hope to outpace outbreaks, save lives and avert disastrous economic consequences. CEPI is a great example of how supporting innovation and R&D can help the world to address some of its most pressing health challenges.”

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: “We know from Ebola, Zika and SARS that epidemics are among the significant threats we face to life, health and prosperity. Vaccines can protect us, but we’ve done too little to develop them as an insurance policy. CEPI is our chance to learn the lessons of recent tragedies, and outsmart epidemics with new vaccine defences. If others join us in supporting CEPI, we can realise our goal of creating a safer world.”

CEPI is a direct response to calls from four independent expert reports into the Ebola epidemic for a new system for stimulating the development of vaccines against epidemic threats. It was founded by the governments of India and Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and the World Economic Forum, which has played a key convening role, bringing together stakeholders at the 2016 Davos meeting and other events.

CEPI is also backed by major pharmaceutical corporations, the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders, as well as philanthropies and leading academic vaccine research groups.

The Government of India is currently finalising the level of a significant funding commitment to CEPI. In addition to financing for vaccine development that will be available through CEPI’s pooled fund, the European Commission will contribute to CEPI’s objectives and plans to co-fund actions with CEPI, such as through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).


Wellcome Trust [to 21 January 2017]
News / Published: 18 January 2017
Global fund to outsmart epidemics
Wellcome is committing $100m to a new partnership to create vaccines for epidemic diseases.
CEPI – the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation – launches on Thursday 19 January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

A collaboration between government, industry, philanthropy and civil society, CEPI will finance and coordinate development of vaccines against known infectious diseases.
Wellcome is a founding partner of CEPI and is providing $100m over five years – part of $460m funding from initial investors.

CEPI needs to raise $1bn in its first five years. Wellcome is joining initial funders in calling on other governments and philanthropic organisations to add their support…

News / Published: 17 January 2017
Ebola vaccine development: still more to be done
A panel of international experts has called for continued commitment to Ebola vaccine development to fully prepare for the next outbreak.
The Ebola vaccine developed during the West African epidemic is the first to be shown to be shown to be safe and effective against the disease. But the third report from Wellcome and the University of Minnesota’s CIDRAP Ebola Team B stresses that there are still critical gaps in preparedness for the next inevitable outbreak.

Safe, effective and durable multivalent Ebola vaccines are critical for preventing outbreaks and quickly halting future outbreaks when they occur.
They are also necessary to prove that vaccines against other neglected or emerging infectious diseases can be successfully developed.

“The success of future efforts will depend on our continued action with the Ebola vaccine,” says Wellcome’s Director Jeremy Farrar, who co-chaired the report. “We must maintain the sense of urgency that has pushed this work forward in previous years.”

Today’s report identifies three main areas where work is still needed if Ebola is to no longer be a public health threat:
:: tracking progress to ensure multivalent Ebola vaccines are readily available and can be rapidly deployed
: identifying where additional effort is needed to overcome challenges and barriers
:: creating high-level recommendations for a robust Ebola virus disease prevention programme that includes prophylactive vaccination of frontline workers and provides vaccine stockpiles.

The group also recommends creating an international consortium to champion Ebola vaccines.
The final results from the trials of the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine were published in December 2016 and confirm that it provides a high level of protection against the disease.
The vaccine, made by Merck, Sharpe & Dohme, was developed rapidly during the epidemic but came too late to have a significant impact on the outbreak.
Report available on the CIDRAP website.


BIO Applauds Launch of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations
Coalition aims to fill critical gaps in global infectious disease readiness
January 19, 2017 03:00 AM Eastern Standard Time
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) applauds today’s launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a new alliance to finance and coordinate the development of vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“CEPI’s public-private partnership model has the potential to close those gaps, particularly those which the private sector alone is unable to address due to the lack of a sufficient potential market for such technologies.”

Vaccines have long been one of the most important and effective public health interventions, preventing millions of illnesses and deaths around the world. However, as we have seen in recent years with devastating Ebola and Zika virus pandemics, critical gaps remain in the global public health arsenal to combat emerging infectious diseases,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “CEPI’s public-private partnership model has the potential to close those gaps, particularly those which the private sector alone is unable to address due to the lack of a sufficient potential market for such technologies.”

“Only by working together can we address barriers to vaccine development and prevent and contain infectious global health epidemics. Working alone, industry players face barriers to vaccine development. CEPI’s collaborative approach is vital in helping biotechs and other industry leaders pursue innovative efforts to help prepare against future pandemics and fight against global public health threats,” said Nima Farzan, PaxVax President and CEO and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) delegate on the board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

“Innovative vaccines companies are eager to partner with CEPI to tackle the many daunting challenges in epidemic preparedness facing the global health community. By combining the resources, expertise and global reach of many public, private and philanthropic global health stakeholders, CEPI will make possible progress on a scale not previously possible,” said Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., and Executive Vice President for Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health for Merck & Co Inc. Dr. Gerberding also serves on the Board of Directors for CEPI…


22 Biopharma Companies Partner and Launch First-of-its-kind Global Initiative to Address Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases
18 January 2017
:: Global, multi-stakeholder collaboration, called Access Accelerated, to be delivered in partnership with World Bank Group and Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
:: Initial three-year commitment will catalyze, develop, measure and replicate sustainable programs in low and lower-middle income countries
: Collective funding of $50 million and increased individual company program commitments to address NCDs
Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017 — Today at the World Economic Forum, twenty-two leading biopharmaceutical companies launched Access Accelerated, a global initiative to advance access to non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention and care in low and lower-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs).

NCDs have reached a point of crisis, particularly in lower and middle income countries, where nearly 80 percent of NCD-related deaths occur. The goal of Access Accelerated, in partnership with the World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), is to work towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to reduce premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

“Through the commitment and expertise of the Access Accelerated partners, we will work towards a shared vision where no person dies prematurely from a preventable, treatable disease,” said Ian Read, Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer and President of The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), on behalf of the initiative. “If the current trend in NCDs in low- and lower-middle countries is not reversed, there is a real possibility we will undermine the progress we have made in health around the world. To reach our goal, we need to catalyze new partnerships, learn quickly and advance the resources and knowledge that will enable countries to tackle NCDs.”

Building on long-standing individual company investments in global health, Access Accelerated will address a variety of access barriers to NCD prevention, treatment and care. Efforts will be evaluated with the support of independent experts at Boston University to establish a framework for progress, measure effectiveness and deliver ongoing reporting.

With the World Bank Group the initiative will identify solutions to address financing, regulatory and service delivery barriers at country level. Additionally, the World Bank Group will conduct pilots in primary care to improve NCD outcomes in several countries.

“The rapid increase in NCDs in developing countries is a serious threat to our goal of improving the health of the world’s poorest citizens and achieving universal health coverage,” said Tim Evans, Senior Director of Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group. “Tackling this successfully will take coordinated effort by governments, civil society, the private sector and international partners. This new effort is an opportunity for all players to test and scale up innovative ways to deliver effective care for NCDs, with a strong focus on primary health care.”…


140th session of the Executive Board
23 January–1 February 2017, Geneva
FOLLOW LIVE: Executive Board
The Executive Board will open at 09:30 on Monday 23 January 2017 and can be watched live via webcast. The discussions will be translated into the six UN official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
During the meeting, WHO’s Executive Board will draw up a short list of 5 candidates on Tuesday 24 January. The following day the Executive Board members will then interview the five candidates and up to three of them to go forward to the World Health Assembly in May 2017.
Live web stream (begins 09:30 CET on Monday 23 January 2017)

Provisional agenda
Main Documents [Selected]
Health emergencies
WHO response in severe, large-scale emergencies

Research and development for potentially epidemic diseases
A blueprint for research and development preparedness and rapid research response


Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)
Draft global implementation plan

Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)
Public health implications of the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol

Review of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework

Global vaccine action plan