The Government of Italy has today formally joined the Oslo-based Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), contributing €5 million (US $5.8 million)—the first part of an overall pledge of €10 million (US $11.7 million)—in investment to support CEPI and the development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
The financial contribution, made through Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and executed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), will advance CEPI’s portfolio—the largest in the world—of diverse COVID-19 vaccine technologies. The funding will also support potential investment into additional promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates to diversify and expand CEPI’s portfolio to increase the chances of developing multiple safe and effective vaccines. CEPI’s goal is to progress at least three COVID-19 vaccine candidates to licensure.
Italy’s commitment to provide funding to CEPI was first announced by Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, at the Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference in May, as part of Italy’s engagement in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy is a co-founder and member of the Facilitation Council of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Hon. Emanuela Del Re, declared: “CEPI represents a key actor in pandemic preparedness and global health. Its current mission on the COVID-19 vaccine is crucial for all. Italy, as a founding promoter of the ACT Accelerator and longstanding global health supporter, is proud to join and contribute to the coalition. Only together we can accelerate action to overcome the pandemic.”
Dr. Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer at CEPI, added: “COVID-19 is a global crisis which requires a global response. With over 1 million lives lost to this dreadful disease, it is imperative that we develop safe, effective and accessible COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to curb the spread of the pandemic.” “We are very grateful for Italy’s contribution to our work advancing the development of vaccines against COVID-19 and, as coalition partners, will share knowledge, resources and expertise to minimize the devastating impact and help get our lives back on track.”