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COVID-19 Webinar Series: Therapeutics Accelerator with Mastercard

March 26, 2020  | WEBINAR

2:00 pm EDT 


“Information sharing and information gathering is the key to fight COVID-19”

– Shamina Singh

With this webinar, Concordia launched a virtual discussion series designed to highlight innovative partnerships addressing the COVID-19 global pandemic. The series aims to not only highlight and support action taken by Concordia’s Membership Community, but to also serve as a learning resource for others seeking to build or scale partnerships to fight the crisis. In this inaugural conversation, Mastercard’s Shamina Singh, Founder and President of the Center for Inclusive Growth, was interviewed by Concordia’s Matthew Swift, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO.

Shamina Singh introduced the Therapeutics Accelerator, a collaboration between Mastercard, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Wellcome Trust. This Accelerator, launched a day before the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced COVID-19 as a global pandemic, seeks to support R&D in the diagnostic, therapeutics, and vaccine development space, and is designed to coordinate and accelerate information and activity globally. The three organisations have collectively contributed 125 million dollars in this partnership, as well as combined technical and scientific knowledge with speed and scale.

According to Singh, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation serves as the “host” of this partnership, contributing both medical expertise and the necessary seed funding, with the Wellcome Trust providing funding and access to the scientific network. Mastercard serves as a strong private sector partner and financial contributor, acting fast and nimble in its approach. While Mastercard has partnered with the Gates Foundation in the past on financial inclusion, and has been a partner in global health funds to date, Singh acknowledged that Mastercard is not a traditional health organization and notes that Mastercard was compelled to partner in this particular project due to the Accelerator’s commitment to equitable and sustainable access and the equal distribution of future treatment and vaccination.

While the partnership is already starting to yield progress in the global search for a COVID-19 vaccine, Singh notes that more resources will be required, and that Mastercard and other members of the Accelerator are speaking with potential partners in the global health, government & multilateral, and private sector space. Experts project that at least 2 billion USD will be necessary to usher a vaccine across R&D, trial, and manufacturer stages, and another 1 billion USD will be needed to scale production and enter it into the appropriate distribution channels (like GAVI Vaccine Alliance).

Interested parties can look here or contact Concordia to be put in touch with partners.


Major Takeaways
  • Mastercard is an ideal partner for this accelerator due to their previous work with Gates, and they have been recognized for their speed and agility in decision making. Gates & Wellcome Trust are great partners due to their interconnectivity within the global healthcare and government spaces, meaning that they are extremely well positioned to rapidly find a solution and get it into the necessary systems for the greatest social impact.
  • Mastercard was drawn to the Accelerator because of its commitment to equitable access and distribution.
  • Other partners are needed, especially in the funding, manufacturing, and distribution space. Learn more here.
For more information, including how to attend FUTURE WEBINARS, please email MEMBERSHIP@CONCORDIA.NET

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