DAKAR, Senegal and OSLO, Norway; 18 January 2022: The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize the partnership between the two organizations to advance IPD’s MADIBA project, a regional manufacturing hub for COVID-19 and other vaccines in Dakar, Sénégal. In its initial phase, IPD’s new modular facility will manufacture up to 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine annually for use in Africa.
With the manufacturing facility in advanced construction, IPD is on track to start vaccine production in the third quarter of 2022. IPD has previously signed an MOU with BioNTech to pursue mRNA vaccine manufacturing and is actively exploring partnerships with other vaccine companies to produce licensed COVID-19 vaccines in its new manufacturing facility. In the future, IPD plans to expand to produce vaccines against other pathogens that are relevant to the region – potentially also new vaccines funded by CEPI.
CEPI will provide strategic and technical support to IPD’s MADIBA project to advance the development and delivery of vaccines manufacturing in Africa. CEPI will also advise on the implementation of an innovative vaccine filling and delivery solution, licensed from MedInstill/INTACT Solutions and developed with CEPI’s funding and support.
IPD has selected this novel technology to accelerate the scale up of their vaccine production capabilities and facilitate rapid delivery of vaccines for Africa. IPD will fill the finished vaccine – known as drug product – into sterile plastic pouches similar to IV drip bags, which can hold and transport 200 doses of vaccine per pouch, as an alternative to filling the finished vaccine into conventional glass vials.
This new technology for filling, transporting, and delivering vaccines makes the multi-dose pouches particularly suitable for use in low-resource settings. Compared to glass vials the pouches are lighter and smaller, so they reduce the cost and footprint of the cold chain. Administering the vaccine from the pouches is quick and easy, providing a rapid and low-cost solution for mass vaccination campaigns during outbreaks and pandemics.
CEPI has been supporting MedInstill/INTACT Solutions since March 2020 to evaluate the multi-dose pouches to make sure the technology is safe and effective for use as a vaccine container, and compatible with multiple vaccine products. CEPI will now support IPD to implement the use of the technology in their manufacturing facility.
“Over one year after the first COVID-19 vaccine was given, deep vaccine inequity persists. It is clear that additional, globally distributed manufacturing capacity is needed to reduce the reliance of the majority of the world on just a few countries for vaccines. I commend our partners at IPD for their rapid progress towards this goal and look forward to supporting their work to establish a vaccine manufacturing hub for Africa”
Dr. Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
“Africa remains in the acute phase of the pandemic, and we are committed to doing our part to address the COVID-19 vaccine inequity that sadly persists. We also have a broader vision to expand and diversify to new vaccines for multiple diseases that continue to threaten public health in Africa. In that spirit, we welcome this strategic partnership and look forward to working with CEPI, the Government of Sénégal, Africa CDC, WHO and other partners to realize the promise of MADIBA to develop vaccines in Africa, for Africa.”
Dr. Amadou Sall, Director, Institut Pasteur de Dakar
“The African Union and Africa CDC welcome and strongly support this historic partnership to advance vaccine manufacturing in Africa to safeguard the health security of the continent. Both CEPI and the Institut Pasteur de Dakar are active members of the African Union/Africa CDC’s Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing, which was launched by President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chair of the African Union, in April 2021.”
Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Diversifying vaccine manufacturing
IPD is an established and WHO prequalified manufacturer of yellow fever vaccines. Its expanded and upgraded manufacturing facilities position IPD to lead a regional vaccine production hub, contributing to a shared objective between IPD and CEPI to bolster health security in the region by establishing African-led vaccine manufacturing capacity. The partners plan to explore future collaborations to manufacture CEPI-funded vaccines for delivery in Africa.
CEPI’s partnership with IPD builds upon an MoU between CEPI and the African Union/ Africa CDC which seeks to enhance vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Africa, and the organization’s participation in the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM).
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Prior to COVID-19 CEPI’s work focused on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus – it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).
During the current pandemic, CEPI initiated multiple programmes to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access. These programmes leverage the rapid response platforms developed by CEPI’s partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19 as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation to these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.
CEPI’s 5-year plan lays out a $3.5 billion roadmap to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, develop a universal vaccine against COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses, and create a “library” of vaccine candidates for use against known and unknown pathogens. The plan is available at http://www.endpandemics.cepi.net.
The Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) is a non-profit public interest foundation located in Senegal with the mission to contribute to public health and well-being in Sénégal and Africa by conducting research, providing training and education, sharing scientific knowledge, and advancing vaccine production. Since its founding in 1896, IPD has been at the forefront of the fight against infectious diseases in West Africa. IPD is one of the four WHO prequalified manufacturers to supply yellow fever vaccine to UN’s Agencies.
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