UNITAID Seeks Bids For ‘Freedom To Operate’ IPR Analyses For HIV Products

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UNITAID, the drug purchasing facility affiliated with the World Health Organization, sees “great promise” in emerging diagnostic products for HIV treatment monitoring and diagnosis in remote regions. Now it is looking for someone to verify the freedom to operate of these tools, ensuring they are not intellectual property-encumbered.

The Terms of Reference, invitation to submit a proposal, and link to the UNITAID website are here.

Landscape reports for the products “demonstrated the great promise represented by several innovative point-of-care (POC) diagnostic products in the development pipeline,” UNITAID says in the terms of reference for the bids. “These products are expected to come to market over the next one to four years and offer enormous potential in terms of lower prices and ease of use in remote settings that lack highly-skilled staff and sophisticated infrastructure. For the first time, HIV treatment monitoring and infant diagnosis may be within reach for those living in remote regions without access to laboratory facilities or sample transport networks.”

In December, the UNITAID Board approved conditional funding of four separate proposals from product developers, and now needs independent assessments of any possibly intellectual property rights infringement, as well as technical performance.

The request for bids is entitled, “ITB 2013.02 – Verification of Freedom to Operate Assessments in the context of Support for Market Entry of New HIV Diagnostic Products.”

The deadline for proposals is 13 February 2013 at 17:00, Geneva time.

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