Government contact points
The government has published details of how businesses can offer to help scale up Covid-19 testing. The request is for:
- consumables and equipment for coronavirus testing, in particular test kits (such as nose and throat swabs, transport media and vials) and RNA extraction lab consumables (such as reagents, plates and pipette tips)
- new or existing types of coronavirus tests for antigens or antibodies. These must meet the requirement set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). MHRA has published the specification for the required antibody test
- public or private sector organisations that can offer laboratory capacity.
Ideas, proposals, comments and any other responses to Covid-19 challenges are being submitted through a sourcing platform - a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, the BIA, BIVDA and the Royal College of Pathologists.
In addition to efforts to scale up existing methods of testing, the government is looking for new solutions in the following areas:
- Dry swabs for use in virus detection
- Transport media that inactivates the virus
- Desktop PCR equipment for point of care testing
- RNA extraction: new methods
Additional offers of support
For additional offers of support, beyond testing, the government is requesting that businesses provide details via an online portal
To offer your support producing ventilators please contact the Business Support Helpline for England number on 0300 456 3565 or at [email protected]
If you have already offered to assist on the ventilators project but not received a reply, please contact [email protected]
For all other enquiries or proposals concerning potential solutions contact the COVID Research and Innovation workstream at [email protected]
To submit general offers of help from industry on COVID–19 preparations please contact [email protected]
BIA industry taskforces
For more information on work underway to tackle COVID-19 across the biotech sector, or to get involved with our BIA industry taskforce groups please use the following contact points:
Vaccines manufacturing taskforce
For information on the vaccines manufacturing taskforce please email Annette England
The vaccines manufacturing taskforce is currently conducting an 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 taskforce
For information on the antibodies and biologics taskforce please email Eric Johnsson
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 [email protected]