This is the third of IBO’s review of R&D investments related to COVID-19 (see March 27 and April 17). The outbreak has triggered a wide range of responses spanning immediate and long-term solutions. For R&D, spending priorities range from areas such as new diagnostic approaches and vaccine development to basic research in fields such as immunology, microbiology and cell biology.
|Selected April 2020 COVID-19 Related R&D Funding Announcements|
|Canada||Various Canadian recipients||CAD $1 billion ($719 million)||The funding is designated for medical research in the areas of vaccines, treatment and tracking. Investments in vaccine development, including clinical trials, consists of: CAD 600 million for the Strategic Innovation Fund over a two-year period, CAD 20 million for the National Research Council of Canada, CAD 23 million for the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization—International Vaccine Center and CAD 15.3 million over a two-year period to the Canadian Immunization Research Network. For genomic sequencing of COVID-ID patients, the CANADA COVID-19 Genomics Network will receive CAD 40 million.|
|EU||Portugal||$140 million ($154 million)||As part of the EU’s Temporary Framework, designed to increase flexibility in the response to COVID-19, €90 million of the funding will go toward “coronavirus-related products” and €50 million to R&D and testing. The initiative specifically addresses vaccines and medical equipment. Projects must be finished within six months of receiving funds.|
|Avast Foundation||COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI)||$25 million||Of the funding, $12 million is for the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a project of the Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mastercard focused on coronavirus treatment development and manufacturing. The remainder, $8 million is for CEPI to fund its ongoing response to the pandemic by coordinating vaccine development.|
|Sweden||Swedish Research Council||SEK 100 million ($10 million)||The four years in additional funding for the Council will go toward basic vaccine research including research of COVID-19. The first call for applications, expected this summer, will address virology research and disease mechanisms.|
|UK||Vaccine Taskforce||£14 million ($18 million)||The newly formed taskforce is charged with expediating vaccine development. A total of 21 projects, both public and private, will receive money. The effort covers R&D through manufacturing. Among the universities that will receive R&D investments are the University of Oxford and Imperial College London.|
|Chan Zuckerberg Initiative||UC San Francisco (UCSF), Stanford University and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub)||$13.6 million||The funding spans nine months and will support a collaboration to complete two projects: cohort testing and genomic sequencing to determine current or past infections, and retesting of a healthcare worker cohort to study rate of infection and reinfection.|