WHO sanctions COVID-19 technologies

The World Health Organization (WHO), via the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), has unveiled three new licensing agreements acquired through the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). 

The agreements include the following licenses to transfer know-how, materials and clinical data needed in different countries:

Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, the first private manufacturer, is offering its patent and know-how for a COVID-19 vaccine that has seen more than three million doses administered across seven countries.  It is the first time that a vaccine manufacturer is using the WHO C-TAP model – a win-win opportunity for the manufacturer, recipients of the technology and, most importantly, patients in need around the world. The agreement will enable licensing of IP facilitating technology transfer and staff training.

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is sharing a second license for a COVID-19 vaccine prototype. The agreement includes plant visits and training, direct assistance and ongoing consultation with recipient manufacturers, including on quality and regulatory matters.

The University of Chile is sharing its technology for a COVID-19 assay for quantification of neutralizing antibodies.

C-TAP was launched in May 2020 by the WHO and the Government of Costa Rica with the support of 44 Member States, UN Development Programme, Unitaid, UNAIDS, and implementing partners such as MPP.

“COVID-19 is here to stay, and the world will continue to need tools to prevent it, test for it and treat it,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. “Through C-TAP, WHO and our partners are committed to making those tools accessible to everyone, everywhere. I am grateful to the leadership shown by those license holders who have contributed technology.”

Charles Gore, executive director of the Medicines Patent Pool added: “Access to essential medicines and health technologies needs to remain a top priority on the global health agenda. We congratulate Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, CSIC and the University of Chile for licensing their products to MPP and hope it will send an important message to other originators around the world to enter into further licence agreements under the auspices of C-TAP.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic only two public health R&D Institutes — the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the US National Institute of Health (NIH) decided to share their key COVID-19 technologies with C-TAP.