Science Supporting Biosecurity and Pandemic Preparedness

Pandemics, natural or person-made, have the potential to cause significant, and perhaps unprecedented, harm. We support breakthrough research in the basic science of infectious disease, pathogen detection and identification, and countermeasures. We are especially interested in research that applies to a wide swath of pathogen types. Others at Open Philanthropy support policy and governance efforts to reduce these risks.

Our Work

Blog Post 6/2019

We awarded a five-year grant and made an additional investment in Sherlock Biosciences to support the development of a diagnostic platform to quickly, easily, and inexpensively identify any human virus.

Press 2/2021
from The New York Times

Open Philanthropy grantee Michael Mina is working on a worldwide serological observatory that can check blood for the presence of antibodies to hundreds of viruses. The observatory could help track the spread of COVID-19 and future pandemics.

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Grant 11/2020

Open Philanthropy recommended an investment in Binx to support work to incorporate Sherlock Biosciences’s COVID-19 assay into Binx’s point-of-care diagnostic platform.

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Grant 11/2020

Open Philanthropy recommended a grant to the 221B Foundation to support a pilot study, led by Jay Mahat, of a COVID-19 assay in Nepal.

Press 11/2020
from Nature

Open Philanthropy grantees Sherlock Biosciences, Michael Mina, and Feng Zhang are working on fast and simple-to-use tests that could help push back against COVID-19, particularly in high-risk settings, where outbreaks can quickly spiral out of control.

Press 11/2020
from BioSpace

Icosovax is turning its virus-like particle (VLP) technology to fight COVID-19. The news accompanies $16.5 million in new funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Open Philanthropy, and the publication of preclinical data in Cell.

Press 10/2020
from Stanford Medicine News Center

Open Philanthropy grantee Jeffrey Glenn has won a five-year, $14.3 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to fund development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs.

Press 10/2020
from Scientific American

Open Philanthropy grantee David Baker and his colleagues have designed a synthetic peptide 20 times smaller than a monoclonal antibody that would directly block the virus from binding to the ACE-2 receptors on human cells.