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

WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) today finalized a licensing agreement with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the development of several innovative therapies, Early stage vaccines and diagnostic tools for COVID-19.

The transparent, global and non-exclusive licenses will allow manufacturers around the world to partner with MPPs and C-TAPs to make these technologies accessible to people living in low- and middle-income countries and help end the pandemic.

The 11 COVID-19 technologies offered under two licenses include the stabilized spike protein used in currently available COVID-19 vaccines, research tools for vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic development, as well as candidates and diagnostics for early stage vaccines. The full list of NIH COVID-19 technologies covered by 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 is through sharing and empowering low-income countries to produce their own health tools that we can ensure a healthier future for all.”

“We are honored to sign these public health-based licensing agreements with NIH under the auspices of C-TAP with the goal of providing equal access to life-saving health products for the world’s most vulnerable,” said Charles Gore, MPP executive Director.

“NIH were the first to share their patents with MPP for an HIV product in 2010, when we were created, and we are delighted to continue to strengthen our partnership. It is clear that the MPP model works on different health technologies “.

The announcement was made today by the US government at the second COVID-19 global summit, jointly hosted by the US, Belize, Germany, Indonesia and Senegal.

The licensing of 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 capable of meeting current and future public health needs. In most cases, NIH will not collect royalties on sales of licensed products 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 healthcare products by increasing their production and supply through agreements transparent and non-exclusive licensing. MPP provides the licensing experience to this initiative and holds the licenses.

The 11 technologies include:

  1. Prefusion Spike Protein (Vaccine Development)
  2. Structured design of spiked immunogens (research tool for vaccine development)
  3. Plasmid pseudotyping (research tool for vaccine development)
  4. ACE2 Dimer construct (drug development research tool)
  5. Synthetic humanized blade nanobody library and their use (research tool for drug development and diagnostics)
  6. Newcastle disease virus-like particles showing pre-melt stabilized peaks (vaccine candidate)
  7. Parainfluenza virus 3 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 viruses (diagnostic)
  11. High throughput diagnostic test (diagnostic)

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