New G7 partnership launched to fight pandemics

A new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) has been announced by the UK government, alongside the G7, a group of seven countries from some of the world’s most advanced economies.

The new partnership will aim to tackle pandemics and improve vaccine development. The seven members of G7 are the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, while EU leaders are also included in its summits.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is opening the virtual Pandemic Preparedness Partnership Conference today, and the two-day event will see representatives across the world share knowledge and collaborate to combat public health issues.  

Sir Patrick Vallance – the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser – will head up the new partnership. There will also be an initial £16 million investment awarded to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which will signify a commitment to enhanced vaccine development and bring together partners from the public and the private sector.  

Chair of the PPP, Sir Patrick Vallance, commented: “COVID-19 has shown us that it’s possible to develop and deploy high-quality vaccines much faster than previously imagined. We have brought together the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership to see whether this can be accelerated even further and applied to the development of medicines and diagnostic tests. 

“The group of experts from across the globe will advise the UK G7 Presidency as to how we can accelerate and scale up the development of effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to save lives from future diseases with pandemic potential. I look forward to progressing such vital work.” 

Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will speak to the members of the PPP at the virtual conference to remind the group of the importance of public health and pandemic responses.  

In addition to leading government figures, personnel from the private sector who have greatly contributed to the development to the current range of COVID-19 vaccines will also be attending.  

Find the full list of the PPP members below:

• Chair – Sir Patrick Vallance – UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser 

• Sir Andrew Witty – CEO, United Health Group 

• Sir John Bell – Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford and member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee 

• Martin Landray – Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Oxford 

• Dame Anne Johnson – Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University College London  

• Lord Jim O’Neill – Former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 

• Baroness Minouche Shafik – Director, LSE and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England 

• Aurelia Nguyen – Managing Director Office of the COVAX Facility, Gavi  

• Sir Jeremy Farrar – Director, Wellcome Trust and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group of the WHO R&D Blueprint

• John-Arne Rottingen – Co-chair ACT-A, member of the G20 High Level Independent Panel (HLIP) on financing for pandemic preparedness and response, and ambassador for Global Health, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

• Peter Sands – Executive Director, Global Fund  

• Richard Hatchett – Chief Executive Officer, CEPI 

• Sergio Carmona – Acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, FIND 

• Soumya Swaminathan – Chief Scientist, WHO  

• John Tsai – Head of Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis 

• Sir Mene Pangalos – Executive Vice President Biopharmaceuticals R&D,  AstraZeneca 

• Mikael Dolsten – Chief Scientific Officer, Pfizer  

• Paul Stoffels – Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, J&J  

• Roger Connor – President Global Vaccines, GSK 

• June Raine – Chief Executive, MHRA 

The G7 group’s latest summit – G7 UK 2021 – will also take place later this year in Cornwall, from 11-13 June.