Gates, other charities pledge $125 million towards COVID-19 treatments

Photo: Reuters

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and two other large charities on Tuesday pledged up to $125 million to help speed the development of treatments for the fast-spreading coronavirus, which the World Health Organization said on Monday was nearing pandemic proportions.

The effort, known as the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, will focus on new and repurposed drugs that can be used right away to treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus and possibly other viruses in the future.

The money is intended to ensure that treatments for the virus will be available in poor countries and affordable for individuals.

Currently, no antiviral drugs or other immune system treatments have been approved to treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust medical charity are each contributing up to $50 million, and the Mastercard Impact Fund has committed up to $25 million for initial projects.

The Gates Foundation’s funding is part of its $100 million commitment to the COVID-19 response announced last month. 

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