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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

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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.

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Grant 9/2020

Open Philanthropy recommended an investment in Riboscience to support work to test a new drug candidate against COVID-19.

Press 9/2020
from Forbes

Open Philanthropy grantee Dr. David Baker, director of the Institute for Protein Design, received one of the 2021 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences for his work designing unique proteins that can be used for a variety of applications.

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Grant 8/2020

Open Philanthropy recommended an investment in Icosavax to support the development of their virus-like-particle vaccine platform, including a new COVID-19 vaccine.