Developing solutions

The BIA is engaged with the UK Government and other organisations in the fight against COVID-19.

 

The BIA has been asked by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the UK Government to co-ordinate capacity and ideas from our network to support the research, development and scale-up of the life sciences sector response to the pandemic.


Vaccines manufacturing

The BIA has networked the UK medicines manufacturing community and convened a COVID-19 taskforce within the UK who have the skills and capability to deliver the appropriate treatment. This taskforce is engaging with government and will support vaccine candidates reaching clinical trials scale and beyond.

The taskforce is looking at ways to create millions of doses of treatment, be that adenovirus vaccine, mRNA, or antibody. Longer term work is focused on determining how to create a UK capability that can deliver 25 million doses, within 25 weeks by 2025.

The taskforce is developing the following work packages based around the most likely treatments. They will follow a Discovery-Develop-Supply model.

  • Viral vaccines  
  • RNA vaccines
  • Antibodies  
  • Fill Finish  
  • Supply chain

This taskforce has already supported the work of the Oxford Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility (CBF) at the University of Oxford to build a collaborative team to scale up manufacturing of a chimpanzee adenovirus vaccine against COVID-19. A team at Oxford led by Sandy Douglas, with Sarah Gilbert and the CBF, successfully put in a bid to UKRI in partnership with BIA members Pall, Fujifilm, Cobra, Oxford Biomedica, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and VMIC to develop rapid scale up of such a vaccine to a 1M dose scale by this summer.

 

Vaccine Manufacturing Taskforce key messages

Vaccine Manufacturing Taskforce FAQs

 

For more information about the vaccines manufacturing taskforce or to get involved please contact aengland@bioindustry.org

The BIA is currently conducting a vaccines manufacturing audit across the life sciences community. If your organisation has any capability or capacity in vaccines manufacturing, please complete this short questionnaire.


Antibodies and biologics treatments for COVID-19

The BIA has brought together a team of experts led by Dr Jane Osbourn and Professor Paul Kellam to coordinate work on potential antibody approaches to novel therapeutics to treat COVID-19.

This group is exploring the development of viral neutralizing antibodies as prophylactics to protect at risk groups and healthcare workers. It is also looking at the development of antibodies/biologics as therapeutics for symptomatic individuals following acute exposure.

As the group develops its approach, additional teams will be created to develop work packages, provide mapping and co-ordination of capabilities, capacity, timing and availability. This work has received offers of support from many BIA members and the wider community already, including: Kymab, Fujifilm, Alchemab, AbCam, Illumina, CRUK, Arecor, NIBSC/PHE and academic groups.

For further information about the antibodies and biologics taskforce, or if you can contribute in any way, please contact: ejohnsson@bioindustry.org


Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

CEPI - is a global alliance financing and coordinating the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases. It has moved quickly and in coordination with WHO to promote the development of new vaccines against the emerging threat of nCoV-2019. CEPI has launched three programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus, nCoV-2019. The programmes will leverage rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as a new partnership. The aim is to advance nCoV-2019 vaccine candidates into clinical testing as quickly as possible.

CEPI Expression of Interest: Sponsor and CRO for clinical trials with COVID-19 candidate vaccines

CEPI is requesting information from entities able to serve as possible sponsors or to provide operational trial support (Clinical Research Organizations) for clinical trials involving vaccine candidates against COVID-19. This Expression of Interest (EOI) has a deadline of Sunday 19th April 2020, 15:00 CET. Information gathered through this EOI will be the basis for a procurement process to secure the services of one or more trial sponsors and CROs. Link to EoI on clinical trials: https://cepi.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/EOI-Sponsor-covid-20200326_forweb.pdf.

CEPI Expression of Interest: drug product stage of manufacturing including fill, finish, etc.

CEPI are interested in manufacturing capabilities that are well established and large scale (>1 million units / month) such that the best response can be mounted against COVID19. Once they collect the initial information, they will then look to introduce our current COVID19 vaccine developers with the entities who have capabilities, capacity and ability to commit to the response. Link to EoI for manufacturing: COVID-19 CMC Assessment  Password: COVID-19


COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard have launched the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to speed the development of and access to therapies for COVID-19. Currently there are no approved treatments for COVID-19. This new initiative aims to fill that gap by accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term.

The Gates Foundation and Wellcome are each contributing up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund is committing up to $25 million to the initiative. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will not be conducting a traditional funding call. To learn more about the funding process, or how to invest in the accelerator, contact epidemics@wellcome.ac.uk