Wellcome seeks $ 8 billion from companies to fight coronavirus

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The Wellcome Trust calls on companies to donate $ 8 billion to the scientific fight against coronaviruses, saying it is the “best exit strategy in the world” against the closings that have shaken global economies.

The global medical research foundation launched “Covid-zero” on Tuesday to convince big business that it is in their interest to fund research into a vaccine, treatments and tests for the coronavirus.

The Trust is working with the World Economic Forum, industry networks and philanthropic partners to persuade CEOs of large multinationals to invest by the end of April. In the WEF weekly call to Covid-19, which drew 500 business leaders, the Wellcome Trust will call on participants to donate.

Payment company Mastercard and singer Madonna are among those who have already invested in the Covid-19 therapeutic accelerator, launched with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, said that CEOs should fund solutions to the problem, rather than just dealing with the fallout.

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“Businesses and governments are rightly concerned with addressing the immediate concerns – how to support staff, continue trade and support economies,” he said. “But we also need a way out of this pandemic as quickly as possible. “

The Trust is concerned that governments, businesses and even other philanthropic organizations will focus their funding on efforts to cope with the spread of the disease and the downturn in the economy, while neglecting the need to find a solution long-term scientist.

The Global Preparedness Supervisory Board, an independent organization convened by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, identified an $ 8 billion shortfall in a pandemic in a report released before the outbreak. Covid-19.

The $ 8 billion will fund organizations responding to the crisis, including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, an alliance formed in 2017 at the World Economic Forum that distributed funds to biotechnology companies developing vaccines.

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It will also finance the Covid-19 therapeutic accelerator; the New Innovative Diagnostics Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on diagnostic testing; and a stock including personal protective equipment, which is in serious shortage.

Richard Hatchett, Director General of CEPI, said that the spread of Covid-19 was a “global humanitarian and economic crisis”.

“While a series of social distancing measures have been implemented in countries and regions of the world, the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics is the most effective way to permanently stop the global spread of the disease” , did he declare.

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