US Government Intends To Grant Exclusive Licence On Zika Patent Over Objection Of Civil Society 26/04/2017 by Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United States Department of Defense has announced that it intends to grant Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical corporation, exclusive rights to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. The decision follows outcry from the public and civil society groups over concerns of affordability and accessibility in taking such a step. The drug candidate was originally developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research using public funds. In a letter [pdf] to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), one group which filed an objection, the Department of the Army which holds the patent, argued that the exclusive licence is necessary to ensure funding for development and that exclusivity is necessary for Sanofi as they will be entering a competitive marketplace. The military division also explained that it lacks the expertise and authority to ensure affordable prices, and that they believed competition would fairly determine the market for the product. Knowledge Ecology International also filed an objection to the licence, and received a response from the Army at the same time. Numerous groups filed an objection to the grant of an exclusive licence in January, when the government first announced its proposal. The objections were in part because they deemed the levels of public spending precluded the drug from being eligible for exclusive licencing under US law (IPW, Public Health, 19/01/2017). In its statement, MSF reiterated the stance that a non-exclusive licence would allow for faster production of a vaccine. MSF also called upon the Department of Defense to publicly disclose the terms of the licence, so that the public may be aware if any conditions of the licence have been violated. Kim Treanor is an intern at Intellectual Property Watch and a student in the graduate program of International Affairs at the New School in New York, where she studies development, trade and public health. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "US Government Intends To Grant Exclusive Licence On Zika Patent Over Objection Of Civil Society" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.