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Virtual Platform For Intellectual Property Sharing Aims To Speed Development Of Drug Treatments

“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a consortium on Wednesday that would allow the public and private sector to share intellectual property to promote the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as malaria,” Reuters reports (10/26). “Under the agreement between [WIPO], … [pharmaceutical] companies and the non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), public and private sector organizations will share valuable intellectual property (IP) and expertise with the global health research community on WIPO Re:Search, a virtual platform,” the U.N. News Centre writes (10/26).

“The cooperation is aimed at the development of new drugs and vaccines for around 20 diseases, including neglected tropical diseases, malaria and tuberculosis, and will involve major drugmakers including Novartis, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck and Sanofi,” according to Agence France-Presse, which adds, “Under the scheme, the intellectual property licenses on these drugs would be available free of charge for the world’s poorest countries, said Francis Gurry, who heads [WIPO]” (10/26). “Some of the mechanics of patent sharing, data protection and other details remain to be worked out,” the Associated Press notes (10/26).