CEPI launches COVAX Marketplace to match buyers and sellers of critical manufacturing supplies and speed up global access to COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX

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CEPI launches COVAX Marketplace to match buyers and sellers of critical manufacturing supplies and speed up global access to COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX
15 July 2021, Oslo, Norway – The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and COVAX partners are launching an innovative ‘marketplace’ to accelerate the global production of COVID-19 vaccine doses for COVAX by matching suppliers of critical inputs with vaccine manufacturers who urgently need them to produce vaccines for fair and equitable distribution through COVAX. This initiative is a key deliverable of the COVAX Manufacturing Task Force, which is co-led by COVAX and industry partners [1].

In the past year unprecedented efforts by vaccine manufacturers and suppliers of vaccine components have aimed to triple previous annual vaccine output, scaling up to produce an estimated 11 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021 [2,3]. As a result of this historic scaling up, bottlenecks are affecting the global supply chain leading to acute shortages of vital supplies which are preventing COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers from operating at full capacity. This is delaying vaccine production and contributing to inequity.

The new COVAX Marketplace announced today is designed to address short-term bottlenecks by facilitating access to supplies needed to produce COVID-19 vaccines intended for distribution through COVAX. It will provide a secure platform for vaccine manufacturers and suppliers of critical inputs to confidentially indicate their needs or available supplies to CEPI, in its role as facilitator. CEPI will identify matching offers and requests and connect potential matches, prioritising based on objective criteria including whether the manufacturer has a COVAX advance purchase agreement and WHO EUL in place, as well as dose volumes and delivery timings. Future versions of the Marketplace may include supplies required to manufacture other lifesaving therapies and vaccines which are also being affected by current global supply shortages.

The Marketplace is expected to improve the free flow of critical COVID-19 vaccine supplies by:
Providing suppliers with a platform to allocate and reallocate unused materials.
Mobilizing idle stock from vaccines and candidates that fail prior to gaining regulatory approval – as well as from those that might scale down their production in the future.
Mobilizing potential surplus stock from manufacturers with non-vaccine activities.

Vaccine manufacturing processes are highly complex and expanding manufacturing capacity requires managing intricate cross-border supply chains frequently involving more than 100 components. Participants will be able to offer and request any materials required for vaccine production through the COVAX Marketplace, but it will initially focus on six categories of supplies which have been identified as critical: bioreactor bags, single use assemblies, cell culture media, filters, lipids, vials and stoppers.

 

Towards a scalable Marketplace platform
The COVAX Marketplace launching today is an initial version which aims to respond quickly to immediate market needs and bottlenecks. It will launch with approximately 10 – 15 participants, comprising COVAX vaccine manufacturers and suppliers of the key materials which have been identified as being most urgently needed. In parallel, in consultation with stakeholders CEPI is urgently exploring extending the Marketplace to include additional participants such as vaccine manufacturers with unused inputs – including those with failed products – Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs), and pharmaceutical companies not currently involved in COVID-19 vaccine production. This would provide a platform to resolve supply bottlenecks which could extend beyond COVID-19 vaccines to other lifesaving therapies and vaccines which are being impacted by the current supply situation.

Prospective participants in the Marketplace are encouraged to visit the COVAX Marketplace webpage and submit an expression of interest at marketplace@cepi.net.

Dr Richard Hatchett, CEPI CEO, said: “Vaccine manufacturers have described the ways in which shortages of critical supplies have limited the speed and scale at which vaccines can be produced, which means many vaccine production lines haven’t been operating at full capacity. Optimizing the use of scarce resources that may otherwise be sitting idle – by matching buyers and sellers around the globe – could contribute to improving the global supply of vaccines through COVAX. The pandemic has led to extraordinary innovation in vaccine development and production, and the COVAX Marketplace is an example of how we must continue to look beyond business as usual to find pragmatic solutions to fixable problems – such as supply chain bottlenecks – so that we can urgently unlock more COVID-19 vaccine doses for COVAX.”…

 

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US-donated vaccine deliveries to Africa set to begin, with first deliveries planned to Burkina Faso, Djibouti, and Ethiopia
16 July 2021 – Following close collaboration between the African Union (AU)/ African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), COVAX and the United States Government, AU Member States are set to receive approximately 25 million COVID-19 vaccines to enhance coverage across the continent – contributing to the AU target of vaccinating at least 60% of the African population. The shipments of these donated doses follow from the pledge made by President Biden, President of the United States of America in May to share 80 million doses globally.
The first shipments, planned for the coming days, will see nearly a million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine delivered to Burkina Faso, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.
In total, approximately 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to 49 African countries in the coming weeks. The African Union/Africa CDC, AVAT, AFreximbank, COVAX and the US Government have collaborated fully in this process and will continue to support countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines and readiness for delivery…

 

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Gavi signs agreements with Sinopharm and Sinovac for immediate supply to COVAX
The signed advance purchase agreements will make doses available to COVAX starting from July to help address immediate and critical gaps in supply
Addition of the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, which have already been granted WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL), further diversifies the Gavi-managed COVAX Facility portfolio, which now includes 11 vaccines and vaccine candidates
Gavi CEO Seth Berkley: “I welcome today’s agreements, which will make doses immediately available to COVAX participants.”
Geneva, 12 July 2021 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced today that it had signed advance purchase agreements (APAs) with Sinopharm for its “BBIBP-CorV” inactivated virus vaccine against COVID-19 as well as with Sinovac for its inactivated virus vaccine against COVID-19, “CoronaVac”. The agreements, which come at a time when the Delta variant is posing a rising risk to health systems, will begin to make 110 million doses immediately available to participants of the COVAX Facility, with options for additional doses.

The Sinopharm APA enables Q3 supply, with Gavi committing to purchase, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, 60 million doses that will be made available from July through October 2021. In addition, Gavi has the option to purchase a further 60 million doses in Q4 2021 and 50 million more doses in the first half of 2022, if necessary. This equates to a potential total of 170 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine that could be made available to self-financing participants of the Facility as well as participants supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

The Sinovac APA also enables Q3 supply, with Gavi committing to purchase, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, 50 million doses to be made available from July through September 2021. In addition, Gavi has the option to purchase a further 150 million doses in Q4 2021 and 180 million more doses in the first half of 2022. In total, up to 380 million potential doses of the Sinovac vaccine could be available to both self-financing participants of the Facility as well as those supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.

“I welcome today’s agreements with Sinopharm and Sinovac, which will make doses immediately available to COVAX participants,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “This is yet another example of Gavi’s active portfolio management strategy, ensuring the Facility has options in the face of constraints such as supply delays. Thanks to this deal, and because these vaccines have already received WHO Emergency Use Listing, we can move to start supplying doses to countries immediately.”

Gavi and COVAX partners will now move quickly to ensure all the critical elements required before doses can be shipped – including official allocation by the Facility, UNICEF and PAHO procurement agreements, among others – are in place…