KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — A Norway-based foundation that is backing nine potential Covid-19 vaccines has identified manufacturers with capacity to produce four billion doses a year.
James Robinson, a longtime biopharma executive leading the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation’s (CEPI) immense manufacturing push, told Reuters that CEPI plans to have two or three manufacturing plants for each vaccine.
“Right now, we know we can do the two billion doses that we have as our kind of our minimum target by the end of next year,” Robinson reportedly said.
He further added that CEPI is planning for eight to ten distribution sites as a strategy to decentralise the manufacturing process and streamline distributions.
“So that we don’t have to make everything centrally and try and ship it around the world,” he reportedly said.
CEPI has begun lining up manufacturing and supply chains even before any Covid-19 vaccines are approved in order to ensure that the coronavirus vaccines would be distributed equally around the world.
The Oslo group is supported by 14 governments, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Britain’s Wellcome Trust, as reported by Reuters.
Up to US$829 million was also deployed by CEPI thus far in pursuit for a Covid-19 vaccine through partnerships with nine other developers in hopes that some of them would be a success.
The partnered developers are Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc, the University of Queensland with CSL Ltd, CureVac, Moderna Inc with U.S. government sponsorship, Novavax Inc, the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, the University of Hong Kong, and a consortium led by Institut Pasteur and including the University of Pittsburgh and Themis Bioscience, which was recently purchased by Merck & Co.
Robinson also reportedly said that CEPI has taken preliminary steps toward securing manufacturing capacity with more than 200 biopharma or sterile vaccine production companies.