WIPO-Sponsored Neglected Diseases Consortium Celebrates Successful First Year

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By Catherine Saez

This week, members of a consortium sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization to facilitate research in neglected diseases celebrated the first anniversary of the initiative and claimed an expanding membership and several research collaborations or agreements.

Launched in 2011, the Re:Search consortium is also sponsored by the US-based BIO Ventures for Global Health, and aims to facilitate research on medical products and diagnostics for people affected by neglected tropical diseases, malaria and tuberculosis, according to the WIPO website.

According to a press release, WIPO Re:Search, which “was launched by a global coalition of neglected disease researchers, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders,” has doubled its membership, now up to 61 members, and facilitated ten research collaborations or agreements, with a number of additional agreements in advanced stages of discussion.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said in the release: “WIPO Re:Search is a key component of the WIPO’s agenda to demonstrate that the intellectual property system can and does work to benefit countries at all levels of development.”

Under the terms of the consortium, “organizations agree to make IP assets available … to qualified researchers anywhere in the world on a royalty-free basis,” if the research is oriented toward the diseases covered by WIPO Re:Search, and “any products resulting from this research will also be royalty-free for sales in least developed countries,” said the release.

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