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Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are putting $25 million from their tech and science research company, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, toward a COVID-19 treatment research project organized by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which pledged $50 million toward the initiative.
The project called the "COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator" aims to find and test new antiviral drugs that could be used for a COVID-19 treatment.
“We’re excited to partner with the Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard to help the biomedical research community quickly identify, develop, and test treatments for COVID-19," Zuckerberg and Chan wrote in a Friday statement.
The Therapeutics Accelerator will let researchers quickly determine whether existing drugs could be used as a treatment for COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
"We hope these coordinated efforts will help stop the spread of COVID-19 as well as provide shared, reusable strategies to respond to future pandemics," Zuckerberg and Chan said.
The Gates Foundation also tweeted about the partnership on Friday, saying "collaboration is key in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic," and that it is "excited" to be working with CZI.
When the initiative was launched, Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said in a March 10 statement that funding from " governments, private enterprise and philanthropic organizations" is needed for the research and development of a COVID-19 treatment.
"If we want to make the world safe from outbreaks like COVID-19, particularly for those most vulnerable, then we need to find a way to make research and development move faster," he said.
The two billionaires have already made significant efforts to help contain the virus by donating millions in cash and equipment donations to social media campaign efforts.
Facebook rolled out a $100 million grant program and other initiatives on March 17 and 18 to help fight the pandemic. The money will go toward 30,000 eligible small businesses around the globe in the form of cash and ad credits.
Gates has also put a total of $100 million toward the effort and has been using his platform to raise awareness about the virus and even used social media site Reddit to answer users' questions about COVID-19 last week.