Chan Zuckerberg Initiative commits $25 million to speed development of COVID-19 treatments

by Contributed Content on March 30, 2020

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is committing $25 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator — a global effort to help speed the development of treatments for COVID-19. In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, CZI’s investment will support efforts to identify and assess potentially promising therapies for COVID-19, expedite their development, and scale up their production to benefit millions of patients worldwide. CZI is providing $20 million, with another $5 million available based on future needs.

“We’re excited to partner with the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to help the biomedical research community quickly identify, develop, and test treatments for COVID-19,” said CZI co-founders and co-CEOs Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. “The Therapeutics Accelerator will enable researchers to quickly determine whether or not existing drugs have a potential benefit against COVID-19. We hope these coordinated efforts will help stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as provide shared, reusable strategies to respond to future pandemics.”

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is aimed at accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs to treat patients with COVID-19. The Accelerator brings together resources and expertise to lower the financial and technical risk for academia, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments while ensuring equal access to these therapies once they are developed — including making them available and affordable in underserved communities.

The Accelerator will work with the World Health Organization, government, and private sector funders and organizations, as well as global regulatory and policy-setting institutions.

“In joining the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, we’re taking part in a coordinated response that will help address this outbreak, and future outbreaks as well,” said CZI Head of Science Cori Bargmann. “By working together, we can dramatically accelerate drug development and deployment to find the effective therapeutics that will ultimately save lives.”

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