Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $500,000 to 1Day Sooner, via WaitList Zero, for general support. 1Day Sooner’s mission is to advocate on behalf of volunteers for COVID-19 human challenge trials (HCTs). They hope to accelerate the development and deployment of a vaccine for COVID-19 by raising awareness about, organizing volunteers around, and otherwise laying the groundwork for HCTs.
HCTs, which involve exposing volunteers to a controlled dose of a pathogen, require fewer participants and can be completed on a significantly shorter timeline than standard randomized control trials, and have been historically used for smallpox, influenza, malaria, and other potentially fatal diseases. The idea of and preconditions for employing HCTs to accelerate a COVID-19 vaccine were discussed by Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine epidemiologist Peter Smith, and Rutgers bioethicist Nir Eyal in a paper published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases earlier this year.
This falls within Open Philanthropy’s focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.