2:00 pm EDT
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.