Clover Biopharmaceuticals to Receive Additional Investment from CEPI

July 30, 20200

CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, an organisation moulded through innovative partnerships to combat epidemics through development of vaccines announced expansion of its association with China based, Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. With an additional investment of USD 66 million. The funding will enable Clover in accelerating the development and manufacturing of its COVID-19 S-Trimer vaccine candidate.

COVID-19 S-Trimer, a trimeric SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein subunit vaccine candidate is based on Clover’s proprietary Trimer-Tag© technology. The S protein is present on the viral envelope of the RNA virus, similar to those found in HIV, RSV and Influenza, other enveloped RNA viruses and is responsible for the virus binding to ACE2 host’s cell surface receptor. Blocking of this S-Protein will prevent the entry of the virus into the cell which is one of the most preferred targets for multiple diagnostics and vaccines being developed for COVID-19 management. For the vaccine, Clover made use of mammalian cell cultures to produce the S-trimer similar to that of the noble viral spike protein.

The funding will support Clover in conducting preclinical studies, making necessary arrangements such as getting the sites globally ready for efficacy studies and conducting phase I clinical trial studies. The investment will also provide monetary support required to scale-up of manufacturing capacity to meet the crucial requirements of hundreds of millions of doses on a yearly basis. As the investigational vaccine candidate is extensively researched upon and successful results are indicated by the trials and studies, CEPI will provide another round of investment to Clover to support the vaccine through licensing in China and globally.

The partnership between CEPI and Clover began in April, with CEPI’s announcement of its ninth global collaboration for the development of COVID-19 vaccine. CEPI’s also made investments in Moderna, Inc., Novavax, Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. etc. for accelerating their COVID-19 vaccine development programs. In line with CEPI’s commitment to equitable access, under the terms of the agreement it is anticipated that Clover’s vaccine once proven to be safe and effective will be procured and allocated through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, which has been established as one of the four pillars of WHO’s ACT accelerator along with GAVI to ensure equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to all countries participating.

With multiple investments in various COVID-19 vaccine candidates, CEPI believes to increase success in the development of a potential vaccine at an accelerated pace for managing the pandemic. With its investments, CEPI also aims at providing the vaccines to the at-risk subpopulation and the front-line workers along with equitable access to low income countries which otherwise would be incapable of procuring the vaccines for their citizens.

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