The Prime Minister of Australia announced on 5 May two grants of $7.5 million each to be provided under DFAT’s Indo-Pacific Health Security Initiative to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) respectively. This is part of Australia’s $353 million commitment to COVID-19 response activities, pledged at the European Commission’s recent Coronavirus Global Response event. The Australian Government already contributed funds to both CEPI ($6.5 million 2017-2022) and FIND ($28.75 million 2015-2022), recognising the importance of these non-profit organisations in global disease research and development.
CEPI works to advance vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, particularly those that affect people in lower and middle-income countries, and establishes investigational vaccine stockpiles before epidemics begin. CEPI also funds new and innovative platform technologies with the potential to accelerate the development and manufacture of vaccines.
CEPI is working with partners across the world on the development and manufacturing of a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 and is seeking US$2 billion from global donors to carry out this plan. A vaccine developed through CEPI has the potential to protect people from COVID-19 at a price that does not limit equitable access and is sustainable to the manufacturer.
FIND enables the development and delivery of much-needed diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases with outbreak potential such as Ebola. It works on catalysing development and validation of new tests, guiding policy on use and accelerating access. FIND also works to improve understanding of the value of diagnostics, and advocates for commitment to their funding and greater use.
FIND will work with WHO and the Global Fund to accelerate global development and access to COVID19 diagnostic tests, and to support policymakers and healthcare providers to validate and use those tests effectively.