The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Joins the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator

What is the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative?

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a philanthropic organization that leverages technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. This includes eradicating disease, improving education, and reforming the criminal justice system. This organization was founded in 2015 by Dr. Priscilla Chan and her husband Mark Zuckerberg. They focused on three core Initiative – Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity. The organization is pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Photograph by Andrew Brookes.

In the news

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) recently committed $25 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator — a global effort to help speed the development of treatments for COVID-19. CZI is providing $20 million, with another $5 million available based on future needs.

In a recent news briefing, CZI co-founders and co-CEOs Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg stated:

We’re excited to partner with the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to help the biomedical research community quickly identify, develop, and test treatments for COVID-19. The Therapeutics Accelerator will enable researchers to quickly determine whether or not existing drugs have a potential benefit against COVID-19. We hope these coordinated efforts will help stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as provide shared, reusable strategies to respond to future pandemics.

The Accelerator

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator was launched with a $125 million seed funding. The goal is to accelerate and evaluate new and repurposed drugs to treat patients with COVID-19. Pharmaceutical companies are considering HIV protease inhibitors and drugs for Ebola for treatment. 

The Accelerator brings together resources and expertise to lower the financial and technical risk for academia, biotech, pharmaceutical companies, and underserved communities. The Accelerator will develop treatments for COVID-19 with the goal of ensuring equal access to these therapies once they are developed. They will work with the World Health Organization, government, and private sector funders and organizations, as well as global regulatory and policy-setting institutions.

With the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative joining the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, they are now a part of a coordinated response that will help address this pandemic as well as future outbreaks. According to Cori Bargmann, CZI Head of Science,

“By working together, we can dramatically accelerate drug development and deployment to find the effective therapeutics that will ultimately save lives.”

  GrantNews is looking forward to seeing the results of the Accelerator.

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