WHO and MPP announce agreement with NIH for Covid health technologies

WHO’s COVID-19
Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) today
finalized a licensing agreement with the United States National Institutes of
Health (NIH) for the development of several innovative therapeutics,
early-stage vaccines and diagnostic tools for COVID-19.

The licenses, which are transparent,
global and non-exclusive, will allow manufacturers
from around the world to work with MPP and C-TAP to make these technologies
accessible to people living in low- and middle-income countries and help put an
end to the pandemic.

The 11 COVID-19
technologies offered under two licences include the stabilized spike protein
used in currently available COVID-19 vaccines, research tools for vaccine,
therapeutic and diagnostic development as well as early-stage vaccine
candidates and diagnostics. The full list of the NIH COVID-19 technologies
covered in the agreement is here.

“I welcome the generous
contribution NIH has made to C-TAP and its example of solidarity and sharing,”
said Dr Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus, WHO
Director-General. “Whether it’s today’s pandemic or tomorrow’s health
emergency, it’s through sharing and empowering lower-income countries to
manufacture their own health tools that we can ensure a healthier future for
everyone.”

“We are honoured
to sign these public health-driven licence agreements with NIH under the
auspices of C-TAP with the goal of providing equitable access to life-saving
health products for the most vulnerable in the world,” said Charles Gore, MPP
Executive Director.

“NIH were the first to
share their patents with MPP for an HIV product back in 2010 when we were created, and we are delighted
to continue strengthening our partnership. It is clear that MPP’s model works
across different health technologies.”

The announcement was
made today by the US Government at the second Global COVID-19 Summit, co-hosted
by the United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal.

Licensing the NIH
technologies to MPP under the auspices of C-TAP will allow greater access to
these technologies and hopefully lead to the development of commercial products
that can address current and future public health needs. In most circumstances,
NIH will not collect royalties on sales of products licensed in 49 countries
classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries.

Launched in 2020 by the
WHO Director-General and the President of Costa Rica, and supported by 43
Member States, C-TAP aims to facilitate timely, equitable and affordable access to
COVID-19 health products by boosting their production and supply through open,
transparent and non-exclusive licensing agreements. MPP provides the licensing expertise to
this initiative and holds the licences.

The 11 technologies
include:

  1. Prefusion spike
    proteins (Vaccine Development)
  2. Structure-Based
    Design of Spike Immunogens (Research Tool for Vaccine Development)
  3. Pseudotyping
    Plasmid (Research Tool for Vaccine Development)
  4. ACE2 Dimer
    construct (Research Tool for Drug Development)
  5. Synthetic humanized
    llama nanobody library and related use (Research Tool for
    Drug and Diagnostic Development)
  6. Newcastle Disease Virus-Like
    Particles Displaying Prefusion-Stabilized Spikes (Vaccine
    Candidate)
  7. Parainfluenza virus 3 based
    vaccine (Vaccine Candidate)
  8. A VSV-EBOV-Based
    Vaccine (Vaccine Candidate)
  9. RNASEH-Assisted
    Detection Assay for RNA (Diagnostic)
  10. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and
    other RNA Virus (Diagnostic)
  11. High-Throughput Diagnostic
    Test (Diagnostic)

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