SDG Spotlight: Health Innovation to Treat Neglected Diseases

September 17, 2019

In September, world leaders will gather at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York to signal how they will boost action to respond to the climate emergency and ensure the health and wellbeing of people, everywhere.

WIPO Re:Search contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through encouraging the sharing of intellectual property (IP)-protected health assets and know-how.

WIPO stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the entire UN family, actively working to help unlock the innovation, creativity and competitiveness that are key to achieving the 17 UN SDGs. WIPO Re:Search catalyzes the development of new medicines and technologies in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria and TB.

Video: What is WIPO Re:Search and what are Re:Search fellowships?

Research collaborations

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Through innovative research collaborations, WIPO Re:Search makes IP available to researchers who need it. Members include pharmaceutical companies, universities, research centers, and others with IP assets and proven expertise.

WIPO Re:Search collaborations enable scientists to obtain IP assets (e.g. molecular compounds), data, know-how, and additional resources, thereby, saving time and money in developing new medicines and technologies.

Collaborating against malaria in Indonesia

Video: Find out how WIPO Re:Search collaborations supported by funds-in-trust from Australia are helping combat malaria in Indonesia.

The [WIPO Re:Search] program is an excellent opportunity to bring scientists and researchers together who share a common interest.

Dr. Diana Hansen, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

Opening up access to resources to fight TB

In 2017, approximately 10 million people were infected with TB, and 1.6 million died, making it one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases and a top ten cause of death worldwide.

Like all pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson has a large corporate collection of compounds. Recently J&J created the Jump-stARter library – a collection of 80,000 curated compounds – designed to provide starting points for new targets and therapeutics.

Through WIPO Re:Search, researchers like Dr. Christina Stallings at the Washington University in St. Louis and Dr. Alan Cowman at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research have obtained access to the libraries and expertise from J&J, which accelerates the process of developing new therapeutics – a win for all.

Resource platform

The Resource Platform is an interactive tool that enables users to visualize and retrieve information about WIPO Re:Search’s 141 members, 155 collaborations, and numerous IP assets (e.g., compounds, samples, technologies).  

The Platform features a sophisticated interactive map that allows users to zoom in on specific countries/regions to find members, collaborations, and assets.  Using the map alone, users can refine searches according to disease, research area, or geographical location of interest. Those interested in more detailed data can obtain it quickly using the Platform’s numerous filtering options.

(Image: WIPO)

Find out more

1 week – 5 summits – 17 goals: About the UN High-Level Week

Four years after breakthrough international agreements on climate change and sustainable development, the stakes are high:

  • we are not yet on track to end poverty by 2030 and world hunger is on the rise, with some 821 million people experiencing undernutrition in 2017;
  • green-house gases continue to climb. Every bit of warming matters and every day we delay action will make it more difficult to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avert the worst impacts of climate change;
  • the world’s most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of conflict, inequality, injustice and environmental degradation – 70 million people fled war, persecution and conflict in 2018; at least half the world’s population do not have access to essential health services; 18% of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 to 49 years have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence in the past year, and some 29.3% of the population of small island states live at less than five meters above rising sea-levels.

Action is being taken to address these challenges. Investment in inclusive and sustainable economies can unleash significant opportunities for shared prosperity. And the political, technological and financial solutions are within our reach. But much greater leadership and rapid, unprecedented changes are needed to align these levers of change with sustainable development objectives.

Bringing together leaders from governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations — these meetings can help generate the ambition and the impetus needed to protect the planet and put the world on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including through effective multilateral cooperation.