CEPI or the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has recently announced the 9th collaboration nationwide to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 disease.
CEPI will make an initial investment of $3.5 million in an agreement to partner with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals’ wholly owned subsidiary. This investment has brought the total investment of the organization in R&D of the COVID-19 vaccine to $39.6 million.
The initial investment will support Clover Biopharmaceuticals in its phase 1 clinical trial of the S-Trimer vaccine candidate for coronavirus in Australia. S-Trimer is a trimeric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 spike (S)-protein subunit vaccine candidate. This is based on the proprietary vaccine technology platform, Trimer-Tag©, of Clover Biopharmaceuticals. This is a novel way of producing COVID-19 virus’s spike proteins in a native trimeric form to be adopted in a vaccine. The company has the capability to rapidly scale the vaccine production through its in-house biomanufacturing capabilities.
According to Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEPI’s Chief Executive Officer, the company is excited to partner with Clover Biopharmaceuticals, given its capability of producing the vaccine within a month. It has advanced towards the human trial of the innovative vaccine candidate, which is a new addition to the portfolio of CEPI. Additionally, the company has invested in various established vaccine technologies and innovative vaccine platforms to rapidly respond to the current outbreak.
The investment comes along the heels of the company’s recently issued global call for proposals. This call invited various funding applications for the vaccine technology to scale the development of coronavirus vaccine alongside the required equitable access provisions.
CEPI has recently opened a Representative Office in Shanghai, China. Through this office, the company plans to seek cooperation from China for the control and prevention of pandemics, including the international scientific, technology, & development cooperation & exchanges, technical R&D of vaccines, as well as funding of the health research projects.