New medicines database to help fight neglected tropical diseases

A new voluntary database to enable the sharing of intellectual property for R&D on medicines and vaccines will encourage the development of new medicines and vaccines to combat neglected tropical diseases, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said today.

WIPO Re:Search was launched today in Geneva by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Dr Shaw said the database will give scientists access to intellectual property such as clinical trial data and technical knowhow needed to develop medicines and vaccines for diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever and cholera.

“This is a groundbreaking initiative to support innovation in medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict millions of people in the developing world,” Dr Shaw said.

“Research-based pharmaceutical companies globally have joined this initiative and committed to sharing their intellectual property assets and technical expertise.

“Ultimately this initiative makes it easier for companies to develop new medicines and vaccines for neglected tropical diseases.

“It will allow the medicines industry, international organisations, NGOs and academics to work together to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

“This collaboration links global health researchers and scientists at pharmaceutical companies in the fight against diseases that disproportionately impact the world’s poorest populations.”

The development of the WIPO Re:Search database was flagged by the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Dr Francis Gurry, in a keynote speech at the Medicines Australia parliamentary dinner in March this year.

The research-based pharmaceutical industry is the third largest funder of R&D for neglected tropical diseases, and contributed 75 per cent of the R&D funding for tuberculosis, malaria and dengue fever in 2009.

Intellectual property licensed via the new WIPO Re:Search initiative will be made available royalty-free for R&D for neglected tropical diseases in any country.


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