The billionaire now devotes much of his time towards the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation he set up with his wife in 2000.
The foundation has partnered with Mastercard and health group Wellcome to fund £16million ($20million) of coronavirus drug clinical trials.
Mark Suzman, chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “The way forward will be informed by sound science and shared data.”
Dubbed the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, Mr Suzman said the initiative will “speed up R&D and slow down the spread”.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a new strain of coronavirus, there is no known cure for the disease.