The UK government will give £10 million of funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to help develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.
The £10 million is UK-aid funding that prioritises helping low- and middle-income countries.
CEPI is a global coalition that was formed in response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The epidemic killed more than 11,000 people.
The importance of CEPI’s work is highlighted by outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases seen across the world in the past year, including the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo and outbreaks of Lassa fever in Nigeria and Nipah in India.
Since its launch in 2017, CEPI has received more than $740 million of funding from governments and charitable organisations around the world.
The £10 million funding is in addition to the UK’s investment of £120 million for the UK Vaccine Network (UKVN). The UKVN helps to develop vaccines and vaccine technology for epidemic diseases.
The UKVN funds 78 research projects that are developing vaccines against diseases that can cause epidemics. The UKVN is prioritising vaccine development for 12 pathogens, 5 of which are also prioritised by CEPI.
The 2 initiatives working together is further shown by the development of a promising new vaccine platform by Imperial College with UKVN support. The platform recently received further funding from CEPI to progress towards clinical use.
This funding from the UK government comes as CEPI celebrates its second anniversary at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
Diseases like Ebola and Lassa fever tear communities and families apart, causing untold amounts of harm and suffering. As a global community, we must keep trying to find new ways to beat diseases like this and making them a thing of the past.
We have a proud history of being at the forefront of tackling diseases around the world, such as the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and will continue to do so by backing this vital work with CEPI to help protect people everywhere.