Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

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The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, is a "public-private coalition that aims to derail epidemics by speeding up the development of vaccines".[1] Its headquarters is in Norway.


CEPI's aim is to develop early phases of vaccines without knowing the details for the form in which the infection will appear, cutting down the time for initial development and deployment, while allowing the vaccine to be progressively tailored to improve its effectiveness for the particular epidemic.

The 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[2] and India.[3][4] It has also received single year investments from the Australian, Belgian and Canadian governments.[5]


Investments and preliminary studies[edit]

As of April 2018, CEPI had invested $37.5 million in Austria-based Themis Bioscience[6] and $56 million in US-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.[7] to develop vaccine candidates against Lassa fever and MERS.

CEPI published a study in the Lancet in 2018 which estimated the costs of developing vaccines for diseases that could escalate into global humanitarian crises. The study focused on 11 diseases which cause relatively few deaths at present and primarily strike the poor. The authors estimated that it would cost between $2.8 billion and $3.7 billion to develop at least one vaccine for each of the diseases. This should be set against the potential cost of an outbreak. The 2003 SARS outbreak in East Asia cost $54 billion.[8]

2019–20 coronavirus outbreak[edit]

In January 2020 CEPI began to support three projects that began work on creating a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus,[9] , run by Moderna, the University of Queensland, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.[10] The United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) started cooperating with the biotechnology company Moderna to create a vaccine, hoping to start human testing by May 2020, with a strategy to make an RNA vaccine matching a spike of the coronavirus surface.[9] The University of Queensland (UQ) strategy is to develop a molecular clamp vaccine that genetically modifies viral proteins to make them mimic the coronavirus and stimulate an immune reaction.[10]


  1. ^ John Cohen (2 September 2016). "New vaccine coalition aims to ward off epidemics". Science. 353 (6303).
  2. ^ Paton, James (January 18, 2017). "Ebola, Zika Push Drugmakers Into Effort to Avert Pandemics". Bloomberg.
  3. ^ "Putting shots in the locker". The Economist. 420 (9003): 67–68. 3 September 2016.
  4. ^ "CEPI | New Vaccines For A Safer World". CEPI.
  5. ^ "Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation turns to IFFIm to accelerate funding for new vaccine development".
  6. ^ "CEPI Partners with Themis Bioscience to Advance Vaccines Against Lassa Fever and MERS – Press Release". Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "Scientists have estimated the cost of stopping 11 diseases that could kill millions in a pandemic". Vox. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b Steenhuysen, Julie; Kelland, Kate (2020-01-24). "With Wuhan virus genetic code in hand, scientists begin work on a vaccine". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 2020-01-25. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  10. ^ a b Devlin, Hannah (2020-01-24). "Lessons from Sars outbreak help in race for coronavirus vaccine". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2020-01-25. Retrieved 2020-01-25.

External links[edit]

Media related to Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations at Wikimedia Commons