Civic Leadership Citadel and Citadel Securities Accelerate COVID-19 Research and Vaccine Development Initiatives at Leading UK Medical Institutions

Citadel and Citadel Securities Accelerate COVID-19 Research and Vaccine Development Initiatives at Leading UK Medical Institutions

May 01, 2020

£3 million Gift Targets Internationally Significant Immunology Advances at Imperial College London and at Barts Health NHS Trust in Collaboration with University College London

The Partners of Citadel and Citadel Securities today announced £3 million of support to advance scientific initiatives at two of London’s leading medical institutions. The work will focus on immunology research to accelerate COVID-19 treatment and prevention. These are among the highestimpact medical initiatives in the UK and have the potential to increase the international scientific community’s understanding of the virus and materially reduce the time and cost of developing and producing a vaccine at scale. With this UK donation, the Partners of Citadel and Citadel Securities have mobilized $20 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts globally since mid-January.

“We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the doctors, nurses and researchers battling COVID-19 both on the frontlines and in the laboratory,” said Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of Citadel. “My partners and I are proud to support these heroes who are working tirelessly to protect our communities and bring us out of this pandemic.”

Specifically, these UK initiatives will aim to:

Build a cutting-edge and scalable vaccine development platform for COVID-19 and beyond

The £2 million donation will advance Imperial College London’s initiative focused on rapidly developing a highly scalable, low-dose self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vaccine for COVID-19 at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional vaccine development efforts. An saRNA vaccine makes multiple copies of itself once injected, making it possible to induce immunity with very low doses. By capitalizing on this innovative vaccine platform, this initiative aims to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that could be scaled to millions of doses in 2020. Learn about opportunities to support Imperial’s COVID-19 response.

“Citadel’s generous support will accelerate Professor Robin Shattock and his group’s crucial research to develop a novel vaccine for rapid and affordable deployment,” said Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London. “From virology and epidemiology to testing, tracking and tracing, this multinational, multidisciplinary struggle needs visionary donors like Ken Griffin and his partners. Philanthropy is critical in accelerating our efforts to defeat coronavirus.”

Scale a bioresource repository at NHS Nightingale field hospital for international research to advance COVID-19 treatments and vaccine development

The £1 million donation will enable Barts Health NHS Trust’s initiative, in partnership with University College London and Queen Mary University of London, to create one of the world’s largest bioresource repositories for COVID-19 before, during, and post-exposure. Researchers are collecting biosamples weekly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic from 1,000 frontline healthcare workers at the new NHS Nightingale field hospital. This serial data and sample collection in a high-exposure population will enable researchers to answer critical questions about immune response and risk factors, and will inform treatment and vaccine development efforts for scientists in the UK and across the globe. Learn about opportunities to support Barts’ COVID-19 response.

“The funding from Citadel will enable us to expand our library of data to encompass the whole spectrum of COVID-19, from asymptomatic to severe disease,” said Professor Charles Knight, Chief Executive of NHS Nightingale Hospital London. “This data will enable the group of researchers led by Professor James Moon to understand more about disease severity and will help scientists around the world answer questions related to COVID-19. In this pandemic environment, collaborative science is essential, and the COVID-sortium Healthcare Worker Bioresource provides an exemplar of such an approach.”

COVID-19 Relief Efforts
The partners of Citadel and Citadel Securities have deployed a multifaceted COVID-19 philanthropic program across the spectrum of relief ranging from PPE and humanitarian aid, to supporting funding gaps to help those most affected, and accelerating scientific initiatives. The relief efforts began in mid-January and with this announcement total $20 million, including to:

  • Provide humanitarian aid and physical supplies in Wuhan, China
  • Support the U.S. State Department’s COVID-19 relief efforts that delivered over 17 tons of aid to and repatriated over 800 Americans from Wuhan, China
  • Fund vaccine development through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  • Establish temporary food distribution sites at 500 Chicago Public Schools making food available for 355,000 students and their families
  • Support Chicago’s emergency food distribution plan by providing an additional 4.5 million meals for those facing food insecurity
  • Provide personal protective equipment and supplies for first responders in Chicago
  • Partner with the New York Community Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies and others to establish a $75 million fund to support NYC nonprofit organizations
  • Develop a rapid-response testing program with the goal of nationally scaling testing capabilities to 100,000 people per day with a target of 500,000 tests per day at Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Utilize antibody testing to understand the scope of prior infection and immunity and triage staffing for the NYC workforce at NYU Langone Health
  • Scale a serology testing initiative to identify people with COVID-19 immunity and enable previously affected healthcare workers to redeploy at Mount Sinai Health System
  • Develop and use immune therapies to prevent infection in frontline healthcare workers and help stop disease progression in the critically ill at The Rockefeller University
  • Determine the efficacy of prophylactic drugs, focusing first on preventing infection in frontline healthcare workers at Weill Cornell Medicine