Chan Zuckerberg Initiative commits $25 million to a fund researching COVID-19 treatments

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropic arm of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has committed $ 25 million to a research fund designed to help identify and develop treatments for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

CZI, managed by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, is donating to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which will help coordinate research efforts to identify new drugs and treatments for the disease. The Accelerator is already backed by $ 125 million in commitments from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome health foundation, and Mastercard’s Impact Fund, according to a March 10 press release.

CZI says it will provide $ 20 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and make another $ 5 million available “based on future needs.” The Gates Foundation and Wellcome have committed up to $ 50 million each, while Mastercard’s Impact Fund has committed up to $ 25 million.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will work with the World Health Organization, public and private sector organizations, and “global regulatory and policy-making institutions” to coordinate research efforts, according to the publication.

“We are excited to partner with the Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard to help the biomedical research community rapidly identify, develop and test treatments for COVID-19,” said Chan and Zuckerberg in a statement. “The Therapeutics Accelerator allows researchers to quickly determine whether or not existing drugs have a potential benefit against COVID-19. We hope that these coordinated efforts will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide shared, reusable strategies for responding to future pandemics. “

CZI and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, which are researching ways to cure and manage disease, have already worked to help increase the number of COVID-19 tests in the San Francisco Bay Area. CZI said last week that it aims to help the University of California, San Francisco support at least 1,000 tests per day in the coming days.

The Gates Foundation is also working to improve testing, in partnership with the University of Washington, to provide COVID-19 testing kits at home for people in the Seattle area. However, it is not clear when that program will start. The Gates Foundation’s commitment to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator stems in part from its commitment to $ 100 million in COVID-19 response announced on February 5.

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