23 January 2017 - PRESS RELEASE

DZIF participates in global masterplan for vaccine development

The recent Ebola crisis has triggered global rethinking: the global community wants to be better prepared for serious infectious disease epidemics than before. For this purpose, the international vaccine initiative “Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations” (CEPI) was founded, in which the DZIF is also involved. The official launch of the coalition was announced at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos.


New vaccines are being developed at the DZIF.© Paul-Ehrlich-Institut

States, foundations, research establishments and pharmaceutical countries have united in public-private partnerships to form CEPI. Their goal is to stop epidemics before far-reaching health risks and states of emergencies develop. As a first step, CEPI intends to develop vaccines against the viral pathogens that have been listed as particularly dangerous by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The vaccines are to be made available immediately in the event of an emergency.

The devastating Ebola epidemic highlighted the imperative need for better agreements between the public sector and companies, so as to master crises and control infectious disease outbreaks. To date, there has been a lack of vaccines because, amongst other things, pharmaceutical companies fear high research and development costs if they are not supported by the public sector. One of the reasons being: the use of emergency vaccines is unpredictable. The vaccine initiative CEPI is to counteract this now. After a successful founding phase, it now officially starts its work at this year’s World Economic Forum.

“We want to contain the risk of emerging infectious diseases spreading across countries, and in the worst case, across continents. This is why, at CEPI, we are developing new vaccines that can be used in the event of an epidemic or as preventive measures,” explains DZIF scientist Prof Stephan Becker from the University of Marburg, who also works at CEPI as an expert.

You can find more information at www.cepi.net

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