UK to launch new global partnership to fight future pandemics

ANI
·3-min read
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], April 20 (ANI): The UK Government on Tuesday will launch a new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) to save lives from future diseases and prevent another global pandemic, the British High Commission (BHC) has said.

The BHC said in a release that Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO), will be a member of this initiative.

The PPP will advise the UK G7 Presidency on how to meet the (UK) Prime Minister's (Boris Johnson) 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 the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) work on global vaccine supply, the release added. It will be chaired by the UK Government's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

The public-private partnership (PPP) 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 High Commission said.

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 ahead of 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. 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 is 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 and 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 BHC said that 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. (ANI)