– New analysis reveals limited approved tests, treatments and vaccines for WHO priority pathogens, except COVID-19 and Ebola Zaire.
– Progress made in vaccines R&D in 2023, but diagnostics and therapeutics underfunded and lagging.
– Partners come together in Rome as Italy’s G7 Presidency gets underway to urge leaders to break cycle of ‘panic and neglect’ and keep pandemic preparedness on the agenda in 2024.
– 100 Days Mission Therapeutics Roadmap launched to foster enhanced coordination and collaboration to develop a strong pipeline of new drugs and ensure equitable access.
– G7, G20, industry and philanthropy called upon to coordinate investments to fill R&D gaps and work towards sustainable clinical trials and regulatory preparedness.
Rome – 24th January 2024
Today the International Pandemic Preparedness Secretariat (IPPS) launches the third annual report on the 100 Days Mission for pandemic preparedness at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome.
The report assesses international progress towards the 100 Days Mission – a pandemic preparedness initiative established in response to the impact of COVID-19, which aims to work with multisectoral partners to ensure the global availability of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines (DTVs) within the first 100 days of a pandemic threat.
2023 saw progress in Vaccines R&D – including the first FDA-approved Chikungunya vaccine and Phase 1 trials for Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) vaccines – and strong political support for the 100 Days Mission from the G7 and G20 under the leadership of Japan and India respectively. However, today’s report highlights a concerning lack of investment in the R&D pipeline overall and signs of waning focus on pandemic preparedness.
Dr Mona Nemer, 100 Days Mission Steering Group Chair and the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, said: “As the world contends with multiple crises, we cannot forget the devastation of COVID-19 and the long-term impact it has had on populations, health systems and the global economy. The Third 100 Days Mission report shows encouraging progress in several areas, but being better prepared for the next pandemic will require heightened global focus, as well as support for the entire therapeutics pipeline and readily scalable and accessible diagnostics. Our priorities for 2024 reflect the very real need to double down on efforts to make this important mission a reality, to protect us all.”
New in 2024 is the 100 Days Mission Scorecard, which provides a comprehensive assessment of the pipeline for the WHO R&D Blueprint pathogens of pandemic potential. Analysis completed by Policy Cures Research reveals very few approved products outside of COVID-19 and the Zaire Ebolavirus strain. The scorecard also highlights the global lack of funding for WHO Blueprint pathogens except COVID-19. Between 2019 and 2022, COVID-19 saw US$14.5bn invested, eight times higher than the other nine pathogens put together. The scorecard also reveals a lack of diversity in funding sources, posing a risk to global preparedness.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), said: “The 100 Days Mission is a welcome complement to WHO’s work with partners on the diseases that pose the greatest pandemic risk, for which there are no or insufficient countermeasures. To rapidly and equitably prepare for and respond to outbreaks of pathogens with pandemic potential, we must now sustainably invest, particularly in basic science, R&D and distributed manufacturing, including the neglected areas of pandemic therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as vaccines.”
Looking ahead to the presidencies of Italy and Brazil respectively, the 100 Days Mission Steering Group, Science and Technology Expert Group (STEG) and partners will urge the G7, G20 and regional organisations to catalyse coordinated international action, emphasising the global nature of the mission. They will call for political commitment to building virtual prototype libraries of pandemic therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, working with the private and philanthropic sectors to make most efficient use of limited resources.
Sir Patrick Vallance, former UK Chief Scientific Adviser and outgoing 100DM Steering Group Chair, said: “These Annual Implementation reports are an opportunity to reflect on how close we are to achieving this important mission, set out the most critical priorities for action, and reflect on progress made in the last year. There is certainly progress to celebrate, and we must remain laser-focused on the original vision for the 100 Days Mission – preparing in advance, so we are ready to produce diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines (DTVs) that enable the most efficient and equitable response possible to the next pandemic. Partnership is the lifeblood of this collective endeavour, and I am delighted to see such strong support from all sectors as we launch this report.”
The launch will also see the publication of the 100 Days Mission Therapeutics Roadmap. Developed with advisors and partners including the INTREPID Alliance, Unitaid, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI), the roadmap marks the start of a more coordinated approach to pandemic therapeutics development. It aims to provide a springboard for action and collaboration, with a headline goal of developing at least two ‘Phase 2 ready’ therapeutic candidates for each of the top 10 WHO priority pathogen families, while also focusing on the optimisation of monoclonal antibodies and the promotion of new, disruptive technologies.
100 Days Mission leaders will set out key priorities for 2024, including:
1. Greater coordination and investment in the therapeutics pipeline, to operationalise the 100DM Therapeutics Roadmap
2. Sufficient funding to implement the 100DM diagnostics framework, including supporting FIND’s initial ask of US$80-100m
3. Greater regulatory alignment and adoption of preparatory regulatory approaches
4. Strengthening of sustainable regional and global clinical trial infrastructure
The full report can be downloaded here.
For media enquiries and interviews, please contact Charlotte Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About IPPS: An independent, time-limited entity formed to catalyse scientific exchange and facilitate multidisciplinary engagement in support of the 100 Days Mission and accelerated DTV development. The Secretariat seeks to empower the community of implementation partners to maintain ambition, continuity and accountability towards the achievement of the 100 Day Mission.
100 Days Mission leadership and partner quotes
Dr Victor Dzau, Co-Chair of the 100 Days Mission Science and Technology Expert Group (STEG) and President of the US National Academy of Medicine, said: “I’m proud that this report is the first to be developed with input from my colleagues in the 100 Days Mission Science and Technology Expert Group. Their collective expertise and experience have been important in guiding the recommendations of the report. We stand at a crucial moment for our global preparedness and must seize the opportunity to build on the learnings from COVID-19 and the progress that has been made towards realising the 100 Days Mission. Now is the moment to ensure we don’t lose momentum, as we work towards a future where everyone has rapid and timely access to safe, effective vaccines, tests and treatments to counter pandemic threats.”
Shingai Machingaidze, Co-Chair of the 100 Days Mission Science and Technology Expert Group (STEG) and Ag. Chief Science Officer at Africa CDC, said: “International and cross-sectoral collaboration is vital in the implementation of the 100 Days Mission, with each sector and level of governance having a unique role to play. Equitable access to pandemic tools is essential to the 100DM, and for this to be achieved, national and regional actors must lead the way. The 100DM Science and Technology Expert Group draws on the expertise of our members to inform the priorities for this important mission. As outlined in the 3rd Annual report, it is vital that we work together with implementation partners to move the needle on concrete areas that need attention, particularly around therapeutics, diagnostics, clinical trials and regulatory harmonisation.”
Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said: “2023 saw strong progress in epidemic and pandemic vaccine research in support of the 100 Days Mission, including investments to advance the next generation of mRNA and thermostable technologies, a groundswell of support for regionalised manufacturing and the growing use of artificial intelligence to accelerate vaccine design. To be ready for a future threat, we must continue this progress while also addressing the gaps highlighted in the latest IPPS report to boost the therapeutics and diagnostics pipelines. It’s a significant global undertaking but, as the epidemiologist Larry Brilliant famously remarked, ‘outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are preventable’. With sufficient investment, political will and scientific endeavour, the 100 Days Mission – and its ultimate goal of preventing the next pandemic – are within reach.”
Dr John-Arne Røttingen, Chief Executive Officer of Wellcome, said: “Infectious diseases are one of the greatest health challenges of our time, causing around a quarter of all deaths around the world, and particularly impacting vulnerable populations in low-income countries. No country wants to face another pandemic, but that threat has not gone away. That is why it’s vital that pandemic preparedness stays on the agenda in 2024, with governments, industry and philanthropy stepping up to invest in the development of new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.”
Professor Rino Rappuoli, Scientific Director of the Biotecnopolo di Siena Foundation and head of MAD Lab Toscana Life Sciences, and member of the 100 Days Mission Steering Group, said: “I’m delighted that we are hosting the launch of the 3rd 100 Days Mission Annual Implementation Report at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, one of Europe’s oldest scientific institutions, in this important year of Italy’s G7 Presidency. This important mission offers a framework of preparedness, which commands the support of many of the partners joining us to launch the report here in Rome today. While the contents offer technical insights into what we need to do together to prepare better for the next pandemic, they also contain a message to the world on the need to invest, to continue to prioritise pandemic preparedness and not waste the lessons of COVID-19. At Biotecnopolo di Siena – the Italian Institute for Pandemic Preparedness – we fully embrace the 100 Days Mission and plan to contribute to its achievement.”
Dr Lindsay Keir, Director of Science and Policy at Policy Cures Research said: “Policy Cures Research is proud to have created the 100 Days Mission scorecard, in partnership with the International Pandemic Preparedness Secretariat (IPPS). For the first time, the scorecard provides the global health community with data to show how prepared we are to meet the 100 Days Mission and we have work to do. We remain reactive in our pandemic funding response and there are gaps in approved products and in the pipeline candidates, especially for diseases that haven’t had recent, large-scale outbreaks or been perceived as a global threat. This illustrates where we should focus our collective efforts to improve global pandemic preparedness.”
Dr Sergio Carmona, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer at FIND, said: “COVID-19 demonstrated the catastrophic consequences of not having diagnostic testing in place fast enough and distributed equitably to stem an emerging pandemic. The 100 Days Mission for diagnostics is a partnership-driven, 5-year, concrete roadmap for diagnostic readiness to prevent this from happening again – from R&D and harmonized regulatory processes for technologies that can be swiftly adapted to emerging pathogens, to normalizing the use of diagnostics within routine care so that warning signs can be quickly spotted and contained. But without investment to make this plan a reality, we risk leaving the world vulnerable and exposed.”
Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid, said: “To get ahead of the next pandemic and save lives faster, access to lifesaving countermeasures—in particular for people in the Global South—should not be an afterthought. The global health community must take advantage of this opportunity and heed the call in today’s 100 Days Mission report, and ensure funding is urgently made available to start the research and development of new health products so that the right diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines are accessible when and where we need them most.”
Charles Gore, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool, said: “The 100 Days Mission is not just about rapidly developing effective medical countermeasures, but it is also about access and equity. This means ensuring that effective therapies become available, from quality-assured sources, at affordable prices and in sufficient volumes to meet demand for the duration of the pandemic and beyond. Voluntary licensing and technology transfer have proven to be effective mechanisms to deliver medical countermeasures to those who need them most in low- and middle-income countries. At the Medicines Patent Pool, we are delighted to have contributed to the development of the Therapeutics Roadmap, based on our experience during COVID-19 and the lessons learned on how we can accelerate equitable access even more. We are equally delighted to be working with partners to accelerate access to future pandemic products through the mRNA Technology Transfer Programme to ensure widely distributed vaccine manufacturing capacity.”
Jimmy Rosen, CEO of READDI, said: “READDI shares the 100 Days Mission’s commitment to global access. Our biotechnology company is making affordable drugs that can be stockpiled and delivered immediately, without refrigeration, to the point of outbreak and taken with a drink of water. READDI aims to make them available to everyone who needs them, when they need them, where they need them. READDI is pleased to have contributed scientific and business expertise during the development of the Therapeutics Roadmap. Its release marks a positive action step towards achieving the 100 Days Mission goals.”
Dr Masami Sakoi, Chief Medical and Global Health Officer, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and Acting Director-General, Office of Healthcare Policy, Cabinet Secretariat of the Japanese Government, said: “Congratulations on the release of the third 100 Days Mission implementation report. Japan is committed to ensuring equitable access to medical countermeasures (MCMs) from R&D, Regulatory harmonization, manufacturing and delivery and led the announcement of ‘G7 Hiroshima Vision for Equitable Access to Medical Countermeasures’ at the G7 Hiroshima Summit to outline core principles last year. The 100 Days Mission is an important initiative to strengthen prevention, preparedness and response to future pandemic.”
Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), said: “Today’s report should act as a clarion call for global leaders, who must now urgently refocus on the practical steps needed to better prepare for the next pandemic. Science and innovation delivered at record speed and scale against COVID-19. We must preserve what made this possible whilst taking practical steps to address the inequity we saw in the roll out of vaccines and treatments if we are going to meet the ambitious goals set out by the 100 Days Mission. Pharmaceutical companies have backed the ambition of the Mission since it was set out in 2021. It’s becoming increasingly clear that governments must learn the right lessons from our collective response to the COVID pandemic if we are going to achieve this shared goal.”
James Anderson, Chair of the INTREPID Alliance, said: “The rapid development of antiviral treatments will be crucial in our response to the next pandemic, and the data published by the INTREPID Alliance makes it clear how much more there is to do if we are going to meet the 100 Days Mission target of 2 antiviral therapies for each high-risk viral family, ready for Phase II/III clinical trials by 2026. Bridging the gap between pathogens with the greatest pandemic potential and the antiviral solutions we need will require innovation, commitment and collaboration across sectors. The INTREPID Alliance will continue to play our part in delivering against this goal towards the shared and ambitious goals in the 100 Days Mission.”
Professor Rachel McKendry, from the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Division of Medicine at University College London, who serves on the 100DM Scientific and Technical Advisory Group for diagnostics, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the central role of diagnostics in future pandemic preparedness. The humble lateral flow test reached further than any other testing format, enabling access to testing outside of healthcare settings including in workplaces, at borders, in schools, and self-testing at home. However, it took too long to develop and deploy diagnostic tests. Moreover, there were huge inequalities in access to tests, with just 0.4% of the 3 billion COVID-19 tests conducted worldwide, available in low-income countries, raising ethical concerns and constraining our collective ability to respond to the pandemic. This 100 Days Mission report highlights key implementation challenges and priority areas for the future, including the need for multiplexed tests to detect pathogens of epidemic potential, digitally connected tests and improved linkage to care. It is vital that we act now, learning the lessons from COVID-19, to ensure that we are better prepared for future pandemics”.