Vaccines of Future:Advancing Global Health

March 21-23, 2024 Shanghai China

Vaccine Innovation Forum World
第5届 疫苗创新国际论坛

CEPI and University of Oxford Collaborate to Develop Rapid Response Vaccines Against Deadly Arenavir

A $25 Million Initiative Aims to Build on COVID-19 Success to Prevent Future Pandemics

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the University of Oxford have joined forces to launch a groundbreaking project designed to accelerate the development of prototype vaccines against the Junín virus, a representative of the deadly Arenavirus family. This initiative is poised to provide a significant leap forward in our ability to combat hemorrhagic fevers with epidemic and pandemic potential.

The key to the project's success lies in replicating the approach that allowed the University of Oxford to rapidly develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Their prior work on a vaccine for MERS, a closely related virus, provided them with a significant head start, enabling them to solve critical vaccinology problems for coronaviruses in advance.

The collaboration between CEPI and Oxford is set to generate crucial knowledge about vaccine design and the biological mechanisms associated with protection against the Junín virus. This knowledge could significantly expedite the development of vaccines against other viruses within the Arenavirus family, including Old World Arenaviruses such as Lassa fever.

Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, stated, "COVID-19 was a wake-up call to the world, highlighting the critical need to be better prepared for future viral threats. This new project will harness the University of Oxford's extensive vaccinology experience and its innovative ChAdOx vaccine technology – one of only a handful of vaccine platforms proven to work at speed, scale, and low cost – to expand the world's scientific knowledge on Arenavirus vaccines."

Leading the project is Professor Teresa Lambe, Calleva Head of Vaccine Immunology, and a Professor of Vaccinology & Immunology at the University of Oxford. She emphasized that the project's impact extends beyond the Junín virus, stating, "Our work will not only inform best-in-class vaccines against the Junín virus, but it will also support vaccine development for the broader group of Arenaviruses. It is this wider impact that could crucially help the world develop and manufacture safe, affordable vaccines at speed, preparing us for future pandemic threats."

The prototype vaccines, along with the data and knowledge generated through this project, will make a vital contribution to the proposed Global Vaccine Library. This global repository of vaccine resources, capabilities, and data will enable rapid adaptation in response to future outbreaks, thus expediting the development of life-saving vaccines.

As part of the project, the University of Oxford's team of scientists will explore methods to improve vaccine manufacturing processes on their ChAdOx platform. The ultimate goal is to provide 'proof-of-concept' that the technology can dramatically shorten vaccine development timelines, from sequencing to the manufacturing of clinical trial materials.

CEPI and the University of Oxford are committed to ensuring equitable access to the outputs of this partnership, in line with CEPI's Equitable Access Policy. Clinical trial data and results will be published for open access for the benefit of the global scientific community.

This initiative marks the first project under the strategic partnership between CEPI and the University of Oxford, announced in August 2023. The partnership includes a commitment of up to $80 million to support multiple projects aimed at designing, manufacturing, and implementing globally accessible vaccines against known and unknown outbreak pathogens, all with the goal of achieving the 100 Days Mission, endorsed by the G7 and G20, to accelerate vaccine development timelines.

The partnership's future projects are eagerly awaited, as they hold the potential to revolutionize our preparedness in the face of global health threats.

For further updates on this groundbreaking initiative and its progress, stay tuned for forthcoming announcements.

Vaccine Innovation Forum (VIF ) World 2024 will be held on Mar. 21-22, Shanghai China, which is the premier gathering for global vaccine scientists and leaders to discuss cutting-edge vaccine technologies, vaccine development progresses and partnership opportunities.