NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research

NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research

Perspective from William Schaffner, MD
Source:

Saville M. Mary Lou Clements-Mann Memorial Lecture in Vaccine Sciences. Presented at: NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research; April 11-12, 2022.

Disclosures: Saville is employed by CEPI.
April 13, 2022
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CEPI’s moon shot: Developing pandemic vaccines in 100 days

Perspective from William Schaffner, MD
Source:

Saville M. Mary Lou Clements-Mann Memorial Lecture in Vaccine Sciences. Presented at: NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research; April 11-12, 2022.

Disclosures: Saville is employed by CEPI.
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The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, launched a multi-billion dollar plan to accelerate the development and production of vaccines during the next pandemic, with a goal of making them available in just 100 days.

If the “100 Days Mission” is successful, it would far outpace the development and authorization of the world’s numerous COVID-19 vaccines, which took place in record time.

Source: Adobe Stock.
The “100 Days Mission” is a goal to accelerate the development and production of pandemic vaccines within 100 days. Source: Adobe Stock.

CEPI has said the plan will cost $3.5 billion — more than $1.5 billion of which has already been pledged by countries including Australia, Germany, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. Others, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust, also have pledged money.

Melanie Saville, MD, MSc, CEPI’s executive director of vaccine research and development, delivered remarks on the project during the Mary Lou Clements-Mann Memorial Lecture in Vaccine Sciences at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ Annual Conference on Vaccine Research.

Saville noted the importance of real-time data and pandemic preparedness to make the goal a reality. Her presentation included several examples of how real-world and real-time data can contribute to controlling emerging diseases through vaccine development. One centered around chikungunya — a mosquito-borne disease that has caused major outbreaks in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Chikungunya is on a list of CEPI’s priority diseases, along with MERS, Lassa fever, Nipah virus, Rift Valley fever, Ebola and the so-called “disease X” — a previously unknown pathogen, like SARS-CoV-2, that may emerge to cause a pandemic.

“It is very unpredictable as to where those outbreaks will occur, which is a major issue when you’re in the middle of vaccine development,” Saville said.

Saville and colleagues modeled a chikungunya outbreak to understand vaccine demand and what the potential impact of vaccines would be. Their main concentration was in Southeast Asia and India.

“When we looked at trying to predict how many doses you might need, the estimate was extremely broad, from 8,000 to 913 million doses per year,” Saville said. “It is really quite a challenge there.”

The researchers then looked at how vaccination could impact these outbreaks and found that it could reduce reported cases by approximately 50%.

“This, however, depends on a number of key parameters such as the threshold that triggers an outbreak response and how long it might really take to actually vaccinate the population or get immunity to an impactful level,” Saville said. “How will a vaccine ultimately be used for a disease like chikungunya? How can it be effectively used, and how will you use a stockpile in an outbreak situation? Where do you put that stockpile?”

According to Saville, the time from when the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 was published to the first vaccine was 326 days.

“As you look at the data globally, during that time, when the first vaccine was made available, there were already 1.6 million deaths,” she said. “So, the question arises, ‘What if you could develop a vaccine in 100 days, when there were only 200,000 deaths?’”

CEPI said the 100-day plan includes “investing in research and development to combat those diseases most likely to cause epidemics and pandemics and reducing manufacturing complexity.”

Saville explained that knowing exactly what should trigger the start of vaccine development is paramount. Some of the components include confirmed human-to-human transmission, failure of control measures, high severity of diseases or death, and a new infectious disease pathogen being identified as the cause.

“Is this going to turn into something with high case fatality? If so, you cannot afford to wait,” she said. “What you need is to be already manufacturing doses of the vaccines to start clinical trials at a very early stage. ... If you wait and see what happens, you lose crucial time.”

References:

CEPI. Global community pledges over $1.5 bn for CEPI’s pandemic-busting plan. https://100days.cepi.net/global-community-100-days-mission-1-5-billion-cepi-pandemic-plan/. Published March 8, 2022. Accessed April 13, 2022.

CEPI. The global pandemic preparedness summit: On the road to 100-day vaccines. https://cepi.net/news_cepi/the-global-pandemic-preparedness-summit-on-the-road-to-100-day-vaccines/. Published March 29, 2022. Accessed April 13, 2022.

CEPI, UK government, and life sciences industry unite around 100 Days Mission. https://100days.cepi.net/cepi-uk-government-life-sciences-industry-100-days-mission/. Published March 8, 2022. Accessed April 13, 2022.

Saville M. Mary Lou Clements-Mann Memorial Lecture in Vaccine Sciences. Presented at: NFID Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research; April 11-12, 2022.