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Expert comment - Professor Peter Piot reacts to new global collaboration the ACT Accelerator

A landmark global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable global access of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for COVID-19, the ACT Accelerator has been launched.

Involving global health actors, private sector partners and other stakeholders, this new collaboration is being co-hosted by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

In response to this announcement, Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

"The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge of our time. The virus has swept across the world, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and devastating societies and economies. And this is just the beginning of the pandemic.

"An unprecedented crisis demands an unprecedented response. I therefore very much welcome the launch today of the landmark Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This global collaboration drawing together all essential actors from governments, international organisations, academia, business and philanthropy will accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for worldwide use.

"Bringing together the very brightest minds, across all sectors, is essential to develop these lifesaving tools, but also to make sure they can be produced at the extraordinary scale required so that all those in need can benefit from them.

"The next step will be an extraordinary global pledging Summit on 4 May 2020 convened by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, aiming to raise 7.5 billion euros as an initial investment.

"Only science and innovation can provide a real exit strategy from the COVID-19 epidemics, in particular through the development of a vaccine. There is no time to lose."

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