CEPI will provide up to $19.3m funding to an international multidisciplinary consortium comprising India’s Bharat Biotech International (BBIL), the University of Sydney, Australia and Switzerland-based ExcellGene
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced that it will fund the development of vaccines that can offer protection against different variants of SARS-Cov-2, as part of its $200m programme.
CEPI is an alliance dedicated to financing and coordinating the development of new vaccine candidates to prevent infectious disease epidemics.
It will provide up to $19.3m funding to an international multidisciplinary consortium to support the development of a ‘variant-proof’ SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate.
The consortium comprises India’s Bharat Biotech International (BBIL), the University of Sydney, Australia and Switzerland-based ExcellGene.
CEPI chief executive officer Richard Hatchett said: “While the current generation of vaccines are safe and effective, against currently known variants, it is imperative that we focus on innovation for multi-epitope vaccines, where a single vaccine can protect against all future variants.
“Our expertise in product development and innovation, especially with novel adjuvants and platform technologies will add to the strong partnership with CEPI, ExcellGene, and the University of Sydney.”
The consortium will use the funding to establish preclinical and clinical proof of concept for an adjuvanted subunit vaccine against all known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and future variants.
Also, the financing will be used to support the immunogen design, preclinical trials, development of the manufacturing process and a Phase 1 clinical study.
The new vaccine design includes large-scale production of modified trimeric spike immunogens at low cost, with high purity and output.
The strategy could enable rapid development of widely protective vaccines against other beta coronaviruses, and vaccines against unknown pathogens with the potential to emerge in the future.
BBIL chairman and managing director Krishna Ella said: “We are delighted to partner with CEPI to progress our platform for the development of broadly protective Covid-19 vaccines.
“Our mission is to deliver safe, affordable and highly effective vaccines to combat existing and future SARS-CoV-2 variants, and our international consortium is well placed to achieve this goal.
“The University of Sydney will provide a framework for pre-clinical assessment of vaccine candidates, together with access to Australia’s world-class early phase clinical trial community.”
CEPI, through the Indian Government’s Ind-CEPI initiative, has separately partnered with Bharat Biotech to support the development of its Chikungunya vaccine candidate (BBV87).