Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Mastercard Launch $125M COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator; Indian Company Hopes To Play Role In Production Of Newly Developed Vaccines

Seattle Times: Gates Foundation spearheads $125 million drive to develop a coronavirus drug
“As part of a $100 million commitment to the global COVID-19 response, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced Tuesday a collaboration to speed development of treatments for the new coronavirus that has infected more than 100,000 people worldwide — and killed nearly 4,000. The Seattle-based foundation’s $50 million contribution will be combined with $50 million from Wellcome, a major British health philanthropy, and $25 million from Mastercard’s Impact Fund, a philanthropy focused on economic growth…” (Doughton, 3/9).

The Telegraph: The Indian vaccine king attempting to create a coronavirus cure ‘within six months’
“He may not be a household name in Britain but from his baronial-style boardroom overlooking his family’s stud farm in western India, Cyrus Poonawalla oversees a global vaccine empire which directly touches the lives of billions of people. With an estimated fortune of $9.8bn (£7.46bn), Poonawalla, 78, is the founder and chairman of Serum Institute of India (SII) — the world’s biggest manufacturer of vaccines by number of doses produced, equivalent to about 1.5 billion shots per year. Now, as the world scrambles to mount an effective response in the battle against coronavirus, Mr. Poonawalla hopes his company will play a critical role scaling up production once a vaccine has been developed and declared fit for human use…” (Pagnamenta, 3/10).

Additional coverage of the Gates Foundation’s announcement is available from Financial Times and STAT.