New venture aims to speed the development of vaccines for neglected tropical diseases

The United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization and the non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health have teamed up to speed up the royalty-free development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics to treat neglected tropical diseases, tuberculosis and malaria.
The organizations will share valuable intellectual property and expertise with the global health research community on WIP Re:Search, which is a virtual platform.
“WIPO Re:Search is a ground breaking example of how a multi-stakeholder coalition can put IP to work for social benefit,” Francis Gurry, the WIPO director general, said at the launch ceremony in Geneva. “By joining WIPO Re:Search, companies and researchers commit to making selected intellectual property assets available under royalty-free licenses to qualified researchers anywhere in the world for research and development on neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and tuberculosis.”
WIPO's partners include Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline, MSD1, Novartis and Pfizer. The WIPO Re:Search database includes a wide variety of contributions that are relevant to tuberculosis, malaria and other neglected tropical diseases. The system allows researchers of these diseases to work directly with scientists at pharmaceutical companies.
According to the World Health Organization, these diseases affect the lives of more than one billion of the world's poorest 2.7 billion people – maiming, debilitating and killing, with costly consequences for societies and health care.
“We want to ensure that our biological materials and patents covering treatments or vaccines for neglected tropical diseases, as with all diseases, are available as broadly as possible to speed the development of new products for people who are most burdened by these diseases, and WIPO Re:Search helps us to do this,” Francis Collins, the NIH director, said.