COVID-19 and Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention and Response (PPPR)

International Goals

The coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity for the world to act in solidarity and turn the crisis into an impetus to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

MPP’s contributions:

Contributing to equitable access to countermeasures for COVID-19 and other public health emergencies of international concern.

From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, MPP realised that equitable access to treatments would be essential in the fight against this global threat. MPP issued a statement on 5 February 2020 offering its expertise to support access to treatment through its voluntary licensing mechanism in low- and middle- income countries.

On 31 March 2020, MPP’s Board decided to expand MPP’s mandate to include any health technology that could contribute to the global response to COVID-19 and where licensing could facilitate innovation and accelerate access.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MPP’s public health-oriented IP management model is proving that it can deliver, and that, if integrated earlier into future pandemic response, it could contribute to a more equitable response even more rapidly. Since 2021, MPP has established two networks of manufacturers, one for therapeutics and the other (together with WHO) for mRNA health technologies. The former consists of manufacturers across all regions of the world that are developing or supplying COVID-19 antivirals in LMICs. This network could be adapted to be fit-for-purpose for future pandemics. The network of vaccine manufacturers is being developed under the mRNA Technology Transfer Hub Programme, which is creating an industrial network of developers and manufacturers across 15-20 countries with the capacity to manufacture (and potentially to develop) vaccine technology for future pandemics.

The following are a chronology of key milestones during the Covid-19 pandemic related to MPP’s work:

  • December 2022 – First generic nirmatrelvir/ritonavir prequalified by the WHO.
  • October 2022MPP and Shionogi signed a voluntary licensing agreement to facilitate affordable access to ensitrelvir in 117 LMICs. Ensitrelvir had earlier been granted regulatory approval in Japan.
  • April 2022WHO made a strong recommendation for nirmatrelvir to be used in combination with ritonavir for the treatment of mild and moderate COVID-19 patients at highest risk of hospitalization
  • March 2022MPP signed agreements with 35 generic manufacturers to produce generic versions of nirmatrelvir for supply to 95 LMICs.
  • March 2022WHO issued a conditional recommendation of molnupiravir for the treatment of patients with non-severe COVID-19 at highest risk of hospitalization.
  • February 2022Afrigen signed a grant agreement with MPPto establish a technology transfer hub for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines
  • January 2022MPP signed agreements with 27 generic manufacturers to produce molnupiravir for supply in 105 LMICs.
  • December 2021 – Molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir granted Emergency Use Authorization by United States Food and Drugs Administration
  • November 2021MPP and Pfizer signed a licence agreement to facilitate affordable access to nirmatrelvir to be used in combination with low dose ritonavir in 95 countries.
  • October 2021MPP and MSD signed a voluntary licensing agreement to facilitate affordable access to molnupiravir in 105 LMICs.
  • July 2021 – MPP, WHO, AFRIGEN, BIOVAC, SAMRC, and Africa CDC signed a Letter of Intent to establish the first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in South Africa7.
  • June 2021 – MPP launched VaxPaL, a new patents database devoted to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • May 2021 – MPP initiates discussions with a number of originator companies and research organizations for potential licenses for COVID-19 health technologies.
  • November 2020 – A group of over 25 companies representing a large portion of the world’s generic pharmaceutical manufacturers pledged to work together via MPP to accelerate access to new COVID-19 treatments in LMICs.
  • September 2020 – MPP became part of the Access to COVID-19 Tool Accelerator (ACT-A) Therapeutics Pillar led by Unitaid and WHO
  • May 2020 – WHO called on MPP to join the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiative, a global collaboration to accelerate equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.


Access Useful Resources

MPP Logo

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Founded & funded by

Unitaid Logo

Other funders