The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) held a press conference at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, providing an update on the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that originated in Wuhan, China.
CEPI will initiate three programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus, nCoV-2019.
Building on existing partnerships with Inovio and The University of Queensland, CEPI will also work with Moderna, Inc., and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Given the rapid global spread of the nCoV-2019 virus the world needs to act quickly and in unity to tackle this disease,” said CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett in the press release. “Our intention with this work is to leverage our work on the MERS coronavirus and rapid response platforms to speed up vaccine development. There are no guarantees of success, but we hope this work could provide a significant and important step forward in developing a vaccine for this disease. Our aspiration with these technologies is to bring a new pathogen from gene sequence to clinical testing in 16 weeks – which is significantly shorter than where we are now.”
The virus is believed to have started at an animal market in Wuhan, China. To date, it’s killed 17 people and infected more than 630 in China, according to reports. At least one case has been confirmed in the United States, in Washington State.
CEPI was founded at Davos in 2017.