The Wellcome Trust is raising research funding to the tune of $ 16bn over the next 10 years as the UK’s largest philanthropist focuses on funding second- and third-generation vaccines as the country prepares for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome and a former member of Sage, said he believed there was another type of coronavirus in 2022 after Omicron, adding that the country should not be so unconcerned about that future. viral infections it may be too small.
The UK had to prepare Covid-19 from plague to epidemic, he said, adding that the virus was a “living gift, not a Christmas present”.
Farrar emphasized the need for the UK to use next-generation vaccines, and said that the whole world would want to get jabs available by the end of spring to reduce the chances of spreading new varieties.
He added that the chances of a complete escape from immunization coverage and natural disasters were slim but added: “Our responsibility is to ensure that we get a second, third vaccine. If this happens next year, tomorrow, or five years, we will not return in January 2020.”
The spread of Omicron was now reached its climax in London, said Farrar, who left Sage, a group of state science advisers, in October, to look into his role as founder.
But the whole country was only a few weeks away, he added, and the full impact of the Omicron waves could not be felt in health until the spread became more pronounced in older groups after Christmas.
Wellcome will focus on its new funding for second- and third-generation vaccines, he said, along with a number of ways to monitor and control the spread of other viruses, such as through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global consortium designed to develop vaccines the future.
Wellcome has spent more than £ 9bn over the past decade to support scientists, programs and organizations across the science and health sectors, including £ 1.2bn last year.
Farrar said the success of Wellcome’s financial strategy has allowed the trust to increase its charity funding to $ 16bn over the next 10 years. It is also designed to address global challenges such as climate change and its impact on health, as well as mental health.
“It’s a huge growth from what we’ve done [previously]. [But] instead of self-deprecating, we will be stable, and we will be global. “
Wellcome had its best financial year in 2021 since the trust publicly sold its remaining shares to Glaxo Plc in 1995 to form the world’s largest pharmaceutical company Glaxo Wellcome, with a return of 35 percent.
Total trust costs rose from £ 8.4bn to £ 36.2bn last year, with strong results from private companies, including DoorDash, a U.S. food delivery platform, and private equity.
But Nick Moakes, chief financial officer at Wellcome, warned that this year would be a very difficult one for investors since the economic downturn caused by rising inflation – and rising interest rates – and the end of Covid’s stimulus.
Moakes predicted a “very difficult place” for investors.
“We are seeing bond yields rising sharply. Prices are starting to rise, apparently they have a bit in the UK, but they have gone up a lot,” he said. Farrar also warned of rising taxes at a time when money, such as electricity, is “going through the roof”.
“We have reached a point where there will be no QE coming to the US and the UK. And there could be an increase in volume.”
Wellcome could spend a lot of money on things that contribute to inflation, such as property, he said, as well as private costs and access to the cause of the epidemic.
He added that the price hike was “politically hot potato for more than a decade”, adding: “These are difficult decisions to make.”