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New global partnership launched to fight future pandemics

The Government has launched a new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) to save lives from future diseases and prevent another global pandemic. 

The PPP will advise the UK G7 Presidency on how to meet the Prime Minister’s ambition to slash the time to develop and deploy high quality vaccines for new diseases from 300 to 100 days, backed by additional funding to support CEPI’s work on global vaccine supply. It will be chaired by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. 

The public-private partnership will bring together industry, international organisations and leading experts. They will provide recommendations for delivering ambitious targets to more quickly develop vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics through greater global co-operation on research and development, manufacturing, clinical trials and data-sharing. 

The £16 million investment will fund global vaccine manufacturing capacity and critical research and development to rapidly respond to the threat of new strains, supporting the development of new variant-specific vaccines. CEPI’s work to coordinate research, development and manufacturing of vaccines will aid efforts to have millions of doses of vaccine available for emergency use 100 days from a variant of concern being identified.  

The PPP is meeting formally for the first time today at a two day virtual Pandemic Preparedness Partnership Conference, taking place under the UK’s Presidency of the G7.  

Speaking at the Conference, Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “The Covid pandemic has shaken the world but united us in our determination to ensure no disease has such an impact in the future. As G7 President, the UK is determined to work with our partners to build back better from coronavirus and strengthen global preparedness for future pandemics.” Adding that this new expert group will drive our efforts in the years ahead to protect people everywhere from new diseases and to save lives.” 

Chair of the PPP, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, commented: “COVID-19 has shown us that it’s possible to develop and deploy high-quality vaccines much faster than previously imagined. We have brought together the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership to see whether this can be accelerated even further and applied to the development of medicines and diagnostic tests.  

 “The group of experts from across the globe will advise the UK G7 Presidency as to how we can accelerate and scale up the development of effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to save lives from future diseases with pandemic potential and I look forward to progressing such vital work.” 

Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said:  “The global response to COVID-19 has proved that we are most successful when we bring together scientists, businesses, governments, and collective action through multilateral institutions. This partnership will enable G7 governments to create a roadmap for building a safe, secure, and equitable future for everyone.” 

The Partnership will report to leaders at June’s G7 Summit in Cornwall with a roadmap outlining the steps the G7 could take to protect people against future pandemics.  

There 20 members of the PPP include WHO Vaccines Envoy Sir Andrew Witty, Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford & member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee, Sir John Bell, Managing Director of the COVAX Facility Gavi, Aurelia Nguyen, and Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Richard Hatchett.  

Industry members include representatives from leading vaccine manufacturers such as Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer at Novartis, John Tsai, Executive Vice President Biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, Sir Mene Pangalos, and Chief Scientific Officer at Pfizer, Mikael Dolsten. 

These experts will be joined by scientific advisers from our G7 partners, who will play a key role in shaping the recommendations into an actionable roadmap over the next two months through a series of meetings ahead of the June Leader’s Summit.   

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is opening the virtual Pandemic Preparedness Partnership Conference today. The two-day event will see representatives and experts from around the world meeting to discuss the challenges and opportunities to transform pandemic preparedness and the importance of public-private and international partnerships to prevent future disease.  

Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will speak to members at the end of the conference to discuss the important role the group will play in ensuring an equitable recovery and strengthening collaboration for pandemic preparedness.  

Full list of PPP Steering Group members: 

·       Chair – Sir Patrick Vallance – UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser 

·       Sir Andrew Witty – CEO, United Health Group 

·       Sir John Bell – Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford and member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee 

·       Martin Landray – Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Oxford 

·       Dame Anne Johnson – Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology UCL  

·       Lord Jim O’Neill – Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management & Former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 

·       Baroness Minouche Shafik – Director LSE and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England 

·       Aurelia Nguyen – Managing Director Office of the COVAX Facility, Gavi  

·       Sir Jeremy Farrar – Director Wellcome Trust & Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group of the WHO R&D Blueprint. 

·       John-Arne Rottingen – Co-chair ACT-A, member of the G20 High Level Independent Panel (HLIP) on financing for pandemic preparedness and response & ambassador for Global Health, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   

·       Peter Sands – Executive Director – Global Fund  

·       Richard Hatchett – Chief Executive Officer CEPI 

·       Sergio Carmona – Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer FIND 

·       Soumya Swaminathan – Chief Scientist WHO  

·       John Tsai – Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis 

·       Sir Mene Pangalos – Executive Vice President Biopharmaceuticals R&D,  AstraZeneca 

·       Mikael Dolsten – Chief Scientific Officer, Pfizer  

·       Paul Stoffells – Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, J&J  

·       Roger Connor – President Global Vaccines, GSK 

·       June Raine – Chief Executive, MHRA 

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