“We welcome CEPI’s new global initiative to prepare for future pandemics” says Ziccum CEO Göran Conradson, “and in particular its commitment to providing significant funding towards new manufacturing innovation to help scale-up vaccine production in LMIC settings. Covid-19 has been an urgent wakeup call for all of us. The time for action is now, dry powder thermostable vaccines have a crucial role to play.”
CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, has launched an ambitious, global 5-year initiative to better prepare for pandemics and reduce or even eliminate future risk from them.
A strong focus within the new initiative, with up to 1.7 BUSD committed in spending, is the development of manufacturing innovation to help scale up the production of vaccines and other biological countermeasures in LMIC settings, a shared priority with Ziccum. “Our planned Fill and Finish Plants would enable regions to manufacture their own dry powder vaccines close to home,” Conradson says, “and these vaccines would need no Cold Chain to be stored or transported. Pandemics know no borders. Nor should the technology that can defeat them.”
Detailed plans drawn up for a dry powder Fill and Finish plant by Ziccum and modular manufacturing partner KeyPlants show that such a plant could produce up to 30 million vials of dry powder vaccines at an estimated 80% less energy use, 65% less OPEX cost and 50% less CAPEX cost than today's freeze-drying plants.
The CEPI initiative also highlights the need for strategic alliances and networks between key manufacturers and global researchers, industry, the public and private sectors and global health partners. Again, this is an approach which closely matches that of Ziccum: “We have always stressed the need for committed collaboration amongst stakeholders,” Conradson says. “As a small, entrepreneurial company we are not in a position to lead this, but all of us within the vaccine arena now recognize that pandemic preparedness is on a war footing – and innovation has always been key to winning wars. We call upon all stakeholders involved to work together cohesively and to include small entrepreneurial companies holding key technologies in the crucial fight we face.”