Chan Zuckerberg Initiative promises $25 million to a Fund Researching for Treatments of COVID-19 

The philanthropic arm of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has promised $25 million to a research fund created to help identify and generate treatments for the disease caused due to the novel coronavirus, it declared today.

The Big Donation

CZI which is managed by Zuckerberg along with his wife Priscilla Chan is making the donation to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which is going to help coordinate research efforts to explore new drugs and treatments for the illness. The Accelerator is already backed by $125 million in promises from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, health foundation Wellcome, and MasterCard’s Impact Fund, as per a press release of March 10th.

CZI claims it is going to offer $20 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and provide another $5 million available “based on future needs.” The Gates Foundation along with Wellcome each has promised up to $50 million, whereas MasterCard’s Impact Fund has made a commitment of up to $25 million.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is going to work with the World Health Organization, along with organizations present in both the public and private sectors, and “global regulatory and policy-setting institutions” to coordinate research efforts, as per the release.

Offering by the Gate Foundation

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

CZI and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, which conducts research to find out ways to cure and manage diseases, have already been working to help amplify the number of COVID-19 tests in the San Francisco Bay Area. CZI stated last week it is aiming 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 amplify testing, it has partnered with the University of Washington to provide at-home COVID-19 testing kits for people in the Seattle area. However, it’s not evident when that program is going to start. The Gates Foundation’s promise to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator comes in part from it’s up to $100 million commitment to COVID-19 response declared on February 5th.

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