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    Event Explains Partnerships In Natural Products Research Through Thai Experience With Novartis

    Published on 13 February 2013 @ 5:25 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    Alongside the World Intellectual Property Organization meeting on protection of genetic resources last week, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) organised a side event on natural product research.

    The WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) met from 4-8 February.

    This side event was an occasion for Frank Petersen, head of the natural products unit at Swiss biopharmaceutical company Novartis, and Bubpha Techapattaraporn, from the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in Thailand, to introduce the collaborative experience on natural products research between BIOTEC and Novartis. BIOTEC is a government-backed research institute.

    Techapattaraporn qualified the agreement between BIOTEC and Novartis as “an equal partnership based on complementary expertise of both parties,” whose objective is to “find potential use of microorganisms and natural compounds as sources of potential new medicines.”

    To support this idea, she emphasised the involvement of both partners. She highlighted that BIOTEC put at the disposal of Novartis its expertise in knowledge of microorganisms which then permitted Novartis to benefit from the diversity of microbes available in Thailand and to “include Thai biodiversity in modern drug discovery.”

    She said that in exchange, Novartis offered technology transfer and performed capacity-building activities through the training of experts and organisation of seminars which in the end “enabled BIOTEC to accumulate more strains and permitted to set different research directions.”

    On the legal framework on the agreement, Petersen underscored that BIOTEC is the owner of the strains and that Novartis receives time-limited, exclusive user right. “BIOTEC conducts its own research programs with same strains,” he added.

    He also put emphasis on the conformity of the mechanism with the requirements of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

    “The partnership covers a broad range of research and development activities like required under Article 5.1 of the Nagoya Protocol,” he said, adding that “there is an inclusion of indigenous groups by collaboration partner or governments in accordance with Articles 6 and 13 of the Nagoya Protocol.”

    This mechanism might be an example of a model for partnership. Academics tend to agree that such partnerships can be beneficial for the development of countries in the global South. However, one might wonder how these partnerships work for medicines for which there is no market. In other words, one can try to question the engagement of pharmaceutical companies in such natural product research in the case of neglected diseases for which people are unable to pay for the resulting treatment. There, one may try to understand how pharmaceutical companies could work in collaboration with national agencies to develop medicines.

     

    Tiphaine Nunzia Caulier may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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