COVID-19 update: funding for treatments and vaccines

Drug Target Review rounds up the latest announcements regarding funding for research into COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

Concept - the cost of medicines

The world has mobilised its efforts to research potential treatments and vaccines for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Here are the latest announcements for donations to fund R&D:

  • President Donald Trump signed a bill in the US for $8.3 billion to spend on responding to the coronavirus. A total of $3 billion will go towards the research and development of vaccines and $800 million will go towards treatments. The rest of the money was designated to support US institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as public health causes.
  • The UK government pledged an additional £210 million towards coronavirus vaccine research on 26 March 2020, bringing its total commitment to £544 million. The £210 million was donated to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
  • The European Commission (EC) has selected 18 research projects to shortlist for a total of €5 million of funding. The research will include studies into new treatments and vaccines, as well as rapid diagnostic tests and improving preparedness to the pandemic.
  • A UK-based medical research charity launched a £10 million fund to support research into COVID-19 therapeutics. The charity is seeking applications from academics or companies that have therapeutics that could be repurposed or repositioned for use in COVID-19 patients.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the Mastercard Impact Fund have donated a total of $125 million to form the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. Donating $50 million, $50 million and $25 million respectively, the organisations aim to support drug pipeline development through to manufacturing of products.

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