The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard’s Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, which was launched in mid-March with $125m, has made its first investments into three institutions to support immunotherapy research.

The institutions in question are the University of Washington, University of Oxford, and La Jolla Institute for Immunology, and they have received a total combined funding of $20m.

The University of Washington and University of Oxford are both working on trials of anti-malarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients, which will be supported by this new funding. Whereas La Jolla will use its $1.73 investment to establish a consortium to share candidate antibodies with researchers across the world.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman explained: “These grants to leading institutions in their fields will advance our understanding of how existing drugs and antibodies can contribute to addressing the pandemic we’re facing around the world.

“These initial investments through the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator will bring rigour to the study of these potential solutions. The way forward will be informed by sound science and shared data.”