01 COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator
For letting the science lead the funding on potential COVID-19 treatments
Backed by major players ranging from Mastercard to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Wellcome, the US$125 million COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator aims to identify, accelerate and scale potential COVID-19 treatments by coordinating R&D efforts.
“Science is the only true exit strategy for this COVID-19 crisis,” Jeremy Farrar, MD, director of Wellcome, said in a statement. “Only when we have tools to detect, treat and prevent it everywhere, will we be able to stop this pandemic and prevent future tragedies.”
The most high-profile push has been to build factories for seven promising vaccine candidates—even though the group will likely pick a maximum of two to produce.
It all comes down to speed, Bill Gates said on The Daily Show: “We’re going to fund factories for all seven just so we don’t waste time in serially saying, ‘Okay, which vaccine works?’ and then building the factory.” He acknowledged it will waste “a few billion” U.S. dollars but says it’s worth it considering the trillions being sucked out of the global economy due to the virus.