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BIO applauds launch of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations


The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has applauded the launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the new alliance to finance and coordinate the development of vaccines.

By Team ABLE

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has applauded the launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the new alliance to finance and coordinate the development of vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

BIO is the world\'s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products.

“Vaccines have long been one of the most important and effective public health interventions, preventing millions of illnesses and deaths around the world. However, as we have seen in recent years with devastating Ebola and Zika virus pandemics, critical gaps remain in the global public health arsenal to combat emerging infectious diseases,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “CEPI’s public-private partnership model has the potential to close those gaps, particularly those which the private sector alone is unable to address due to the lack of a sufficient potential market for such technologies.”

“Only by working together can we address barriers to vaccine development and prevent and contain infectious global health epidemics. Working alone, industry players face barriers to vaccine development. CEPI’s collaborative approach is vital in helping biotechs and other industry leaders pursue innovative efforts to help prepare against future pandemics and fight against global public health threats,” said Nima Farzan, PaxVax President and CEO and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) delegate on the board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

“Innovative vaccines companies are eager to partner with CEPI to tackle the many daunting challenges in epidemic preparedness facing the global health community. By combining the resources, expertise and global reach of many public, private and philanthropic global health stakeholders, CEPI will make possible progress on a scale not previously possible,” said Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President for Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health for Merck & Co Inc. Dr. Gerberding also serves on the Board of Directors for CEPI.

In addition to their public health benefits, vaccines also generate tremendous societal and economic value by keeping children and adults healthy and productive. A recent study found that by preventing illness and premature deaths, vaccination of children born in the United States in 2009 will generate $184 billion in lifetime social value, or $45,000 per child. Of this, about two percent ($3.4 billion) accrues to vaccine manufacturers in the form of profits, while the remaining 98% ($180.7 billion) is retained by society.