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1.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(12)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583126

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, Vaxzevira or Covishield) builds on two decades of research and development (R&D) into chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx) technology at the University of Oxford. This study aimed to approximate the funding for the R&D of ChAdOx and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and to assess the transparency of funding reporting mechanisms. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review and publication history analysis of the principal investigators to reconstruct R&D funding the ChAdOx technology. We matched award numbers with publicly accessible grant databases. We filed freedom of information (FOI) requests to the University of Oxford for the disclosure of all grants for ChAdOx R&D. RESULTS: We identified 100 peer-reviewed articles relevant to ChAdOx technology published between January 2002 and October 2020, extracting 577 mentions of funding bodies from acknowledgements. Government funders from overseas (including the European Union) were mentioned 158 times (27.4%), the UK government 147 (25.5%) and charitable funders 138 (23.9%). Grant award numbers were identified for 215 (37.3%) mentions; amounts were publicly available for 121 (21.0%). Based on the FOIs, until December 2019, the biggest funders of ChAdOx R&D were the European Commission (34.0%), Wellcome Trust (20.4%) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (17.5%). Since January 2020, the UK government contributed 95.5% of funding identified. The total identified R&D funding was £104 226 076 reported in the FOIs and £228 466 771 reconstructed from the literature search. CONCLUSION: Our study approximates that public and charitable financing accounted for 97%-99% of identifiable funding for the ChAdOx vaccine technology research at the University of Oxford underlying the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine until autumn 2020. We encountered a lack of transparency in research funding reporting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295125

ABSTRACT

Universities play a vital role in developing health technologies to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the measures the top 35 UK universities receiving most Medical Research Council funding have taken to ensure global equitable access to health technologies in technology transfer. In October 2020 we sent Freedom Of Information requests and analysed universities’ websites, to (i.) assess institutional strategies on the patenting and licensing of COVID-19-related health technologies, (ii.) identify all COVID-19-related health technologies licensed or patented, and (iii.) record whether universities engaged with the Open-COVID pledge, COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), or Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) COVID-19 licensing guidelines. Except for the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh, UK universities have not updated their institutional strategies during the pandemic. Nine universities licensed 22 COVID-19 health technologies. Imperial College London disclosed 10 patents relevant to COVID-19. No UK universities participate in the Open-COVID Pledge or C-TAP, but discussions are ongoing. The University of Bristol signed up to the AUTM guidelines. Despite several COVID-19 health technologies being developed by UK universities, our findings suggest minimal engagement with measures that may promote equitable access. We suggest that universities review their technology transfer policies and implement global equitable access strategies for COVID-19 health technologies.

3.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294536

ABSTRACT

Objectives The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or Vaxzevira) builds on nearly two decades of research and development (R&D) into Chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine (ChAdOx) technology at the University of Oxford. This study aims to approximate the funding for the R&D of the ChAdOx technology and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and assess the transparency of funding reporting mechanisms. Design We conducted a scoping review and publication history analysis of the principal investigators to reconstruct the funding for the R&D of the ChAdOx technology. We matched award numbers with publicly-accessible grant databases. We filed Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests to the University of Oxford for the disclosure of all grants for ChAdOx R&D. Results We identified 100 peer-reviewed articles relevant to ChAdOx technology published between 01/2002 and 10/2020, extracting 577 mentions of funding bodies from funding acknowledgement statements. Government funders from overseas were mentioned 158 (27.4%), the U.K. government 147 (25.5%) and charitable funders 138 (23.9%) times. Grant award numbers were identified for 215 (37.3%) mentions, amounts were available in the public realm for 121 (21.0%) mentions. Based on the FOIs, until 01/2020, the European Commision (34.0%), Wellcome Trust (20.4%) and CEPI (17.5%) were the biggest funders of ChAdOx R&D. From 01/2020, the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care was the single largest funder (89.3%). The identified R&D funding was £104,226,076 reported in the FOIs, and £228,466,771 reconstructed from the literature search. Conclusions Our study identified that public funding accounted for 97.1-99.0% of the funding towards the R&D of ChAdOx and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. We furthermore encountered a severe lack of transparency in research funding reporting mechanisms. Strengths and limitations of this study This is the first study that analysed the R&D funding and funders contributing to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the underlying ChAdOx technology. We used multiple sources and methods to approximate the R&D funding of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine and ChAdOx technology. We cross-matched award numbers with all publicly-accessible databases by major funders of R&D. Freedom Of Information requests were a useful method to identify R&D funding, but face limitations in their scope of data collection. Integration of the two data sets was not possible due to insufficient grant information and lack of award numbers in funding acknowledgement statements in peer-reviewed articles.

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