As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause debilitating economic and social consequences worldwide, the trio hopes to redress the balance by funding clinical research from which immunotherapies could be developed (there currently are none).
Connecting the scientific community
However, more than simply funding research into immunotherapies, the Accelerator is envisaged as a method for bringing together the scientific community by allowing academic, researchers and developers to pool knowledge and researches.
$1.73mn of the grant money awarded to La Jolla Institute will, for example, be used to establish a Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium (or CoVIC).
“Today’s grants are an important next step in the Therapeutic Accelerator’s commitment to identifying and scaling treatments to combat COVID-19,” commented Mike Froman, Vice-Chairman of Mastercard.
“We need to speed up the research and development process through a collaborative funding effort by the private sector, philanthropic organizations, and governments.
“We welcome the participation of additional organizations that can contribute the resources needed to help bring an end to this crisis,” he added.
Heeding the call, additional organisations have already started to pledge significant sums of money assist in the research of coronavirus, its effects and how best to combat it, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative ($25mn) and the UK Government (£40mn).
Mark Suzman, CEO of the Gates Foundation, was heartened by the support already received for the Accelerator and affirmed the scientific mindset with which the organisation would conduct itself.
“These initial investments through the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will bring rigor to the study of these potential solutions. The way forward will be informed by sound science and shared data.”
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