The move could allow EU governments to secure vaccines from companies that are not negotiating with Brussels, such as U.S. firms Merck, Inovio and Novavax. They are all in talks with the WHO scheme, dubbed COVAX, but have so far not been reported to be involved in negotiations with the EU Commission.
In January 2020, CEPI funded three teams working on a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, being: Moderna, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and the University of Queensland (UQ). By February 2020, Inovio announced that it had produced a pre-clinical DNA-based vaccination to fight COVID-19 at its lab in San Diego. Inovio collaborated with a Chinese firm to speed its acceptance by regulatory authorities in China for human trialing. The strategy of the UQ team is to develop a molecular clamp vaccine that genetically modifies viral proteins to make them mimic the coronavirus and stimulate an immune reaction.
In January 2020, CEPI announced a fourth SARS-CoV-2 project in a collaboration with their existing partner CureVac, to develop and manufacture a vaccine.