WIPO Re:Search Gains Momentum in the Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria and Tuberculosis

Geneva, February 26, 2015
PR/2015/773

WIPO Re:Search signed on more than a dozen new members in 2014, including two leading pharmaceutical firms, and nearly doubled the number of research agreements using shared intellectual property to promote the fight against neglected tropical diseases, tuberculosis and malaria.

During WIPO Re:Search’s third full year of operation, the consortium welcomed 14 new members including Merck KGaA and Kineta Inc., as well as six institutions from the developing world, where the targeted diseases are most prevalent.

As 2014 closed, 82 collaborations were in place among the 94 members, including 38 new agreements, nearly doubling the numbers of managed partnerships and surpassing the goal of 15 new agreements for the year.

“We are very pleased with the level of engagement and interest in WIPO Re:Search by the various providers and users,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “We are hopeful that these positive results will continue to grow in the coming years and lead to outcomes to alleviate the huge burden of neglected tropical diseases on already vulnerable populations.”

WIPO Re:Search allows organizations to share their intellectual property, compounds, expertise, facilities and know-how royalty-free with qualified researchers worldwide working on new solutions for these maladies, which affect more than one billion people across the globe.

Malaria and tuberculosis represented 44% of all partnerships established by the end of 2014. Other collaboration cover an additional 12 neglected tropical diseases, with drug discovery continuing to be the primary focus of agreements established in 2014.

More information about WIPO Re:Search activities is available in "Catalyzing Partnerships for Global Health", the 2014 Partnership Hub  annual report from WIPO Re:Search partner BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH).

BVGH President Jennifer Dent welcomed the results in 2014 and expressed hope that this year will continue to see similar growth in collaborations.

“We are extremely proud of what our members have accomplished through WIPO Re:Search to date. With 82 agreements established, WIPO Re:Search is poised to have an important impact on filling the pipelines for these devastating neglected diseases,” said Ms. Dent. 

Recent years have seen the arrival of new research and development models and extra resources, yet there remains a pressing need to bridge research gaps and bring together knowledge, skills and infrastructure from the private, non-profit, and academic sectors.

Background for Editors

About WIPO Re:Search: One of the world’s great global health challenges is to overcome the impact of neglected tropical diseases, malaria and tuberculosis. WIPO Re:Search aims to stimulate more research and development for new and better treatment options for those suffering from these diseases.

WIPO Re:Search provides access to intellectual property for pharmaceutical compounds, technologies, know-how and data available for research and development for neglected tropical diseases, tuberculosis, and malaria. By providing a searchable, public database of available intellectual property assets and resources, WIPO Re:Search facilitates new partnerships to support organizations that conduct research on treatments for neglected tropical diseases, ultimately improving the lives of those most in need.

Financial supporters of WIPO Re:Search’s activities include: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of the United States; Eisai Co. Ltd of Japan; GlaxoSmithKline plc of the United Kingdom; Kineta Inc. of the United States; Merck KGaA of Germany; MSD of the United States; Novartis AG of Switzerland; Pfizer Inc. of the United States; Sanofi SA of France; and the governments of Australia and Japan.

About Neglected Tropical Diseases, malaria and tuberculosis: The 19 neglected tropical diseases and conditions prioritized by the World Health Organization, affect over one billion people in 149 endemic countries. Malaria and tuberculosis are also prevalent in developing countries, where these ailments hinder social and economic development. For more information: http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/en/.

About BVGH: BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, dedicated to solving global health issues by forming connections between people, resources, and ideas. BVGH works at the crossroads of the biopharmaceutical industry and global health to find the common ground between the aspirations of the global health community and the strategic priorities of companies.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 192 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

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