Moderna joins CEPI's 100 Days Mission to advance pandemic preparedness

Moderna is shifting attention to the next pandemic, whatever it may be, in a new partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to condense vaccine development timelines down to 100 days.

The famed biotech is the latest to join CEPI’s 100 Days Mission, which aims to strengthen pandemic preparedness and speed up public health initiatives to respond to the next global viral threat. Moderna will engage its mRNA platform, which was able to quickly churn out a vaccine during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a Monday press release.

Moderna and CEPI believe the platform could go even faster, though.

“Future outbreaks are inevitable, but another pandemic is not. Thanks to the scientific and technological innovations advanced during COVID-19, the world now has the tools and capabilities to prevent the next outbreak from spiraling into a global catastrophe,” said CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett, M.D. “Chief among them is the now proven mRNA vaccine technology, which can be used to develop safe and effective vaccines with remarkable speed that can be rapidly manufactured at scale.”

To start off, CEPI and Moderna will evaluate novel AI-generated antigen designs and mRNA technology for a range of viral families that are at the highest risk of causing the next pandemic. Researchers funded by CEPI will send computational antigen designs to Moderna, which will then quickly develop vaccine candidates for preclinical testing.

The project will help the CEPI researchers test multiple antigen designs for specific viral families to see whether any could work. They will also generate data on the performance of mRNA vaccine technology and assess its ability to combat certain viral families.

This is just the initial project, with CEPI and Moderna promising additional vaccine development projects to be announced “in due course.”

Moderna is the latest company to join CEPI’s mission to prepare for the next pandemic. Biopharma data provider IQVIA joined the 100 Days Mission earlier this month to find ways to streamline global clinical research for vaccines and other treatments targeting emerging infectious diseases. And in August, the University of Oxford team that helped develop AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine signed an $80 million research pact focused on future pandemic prevention.