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Who funded the research behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine?

Cross, Samuel, Rho, Yeanuk, Reddy, Henna, Pepperrell, Toby, Rodgers, Florence, Osborne, Rhiannon, Eni-Olotu, Ayolola, Banerjee, Rishi, Wimmer, Sabrina and Keestra, Sarai (2021) Who funded the research behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine? BMJ Global Health, 6 (12). ISSN 2059-7908

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Identification Number: 10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007321


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Management
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2022 17:30
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 18:36

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