December 5, 2022

WHO and MPP announce agreement with NIH for COVID-19 health technologies

Nomination of candidate for the post of Director-General. WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addresses the members of the Executive Board. The 150th session of the Executive Board takes place on 24-29 January 2022. The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. At this annual Board meeting, the members agree upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered there. - Title of WHO staff and officials reflects their respective position at the time the photo was taken.

WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) on Thursday 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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