MPP’s contribution to the global response to COVID-19
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.
The coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity for the world to act in solidarity and turn this crisis into an impetus to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
MPP’s activities and contributions:
- On 21 September 2021, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) announced the selection of two centres in Argentina and Brazil for the development and production of mRNA-based vaccines in Latin America. MPP will be actively supporting this initiative through its expertise
- On 30 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 Africa
- On 8 June 2021, MPP launched VaxPaL, its new patents database devoted to COVID-19 vaccines.
- On 27 May 2021, MPP expanded its mandate into the licensing of technology with an initial focus on COVID-19 vaccines and pandemic preparedness.
- MPP is currently in discussions with a number of originator companies and research organisations for potential licences for COVID-19 health technologies, including with MSD for a potential licence for molnupiravir.
- In September 2020, MPP became part of the Access to COVID-19 Tool (ACT) Accelerator Therapeutics Pillar led by Unitaid and WHO
- In May 2020, WHO called MPP to join the C-TAP (COVID-19 Technology Access Pool) initiative, a global collaboration to accelerate development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
- MPP’s experience in facilitating access through its voluntary licensing mechanism means that it could play a central role in applying its intellectual property and licensing expertise to patented products and technologies identified in the fight against COVID-19 to facilitate availability to those who need them most.
- On 31 March 2020, MPP temporarily expanded its mandate to include any health technology that could contribute to the global response to COVID-19.
At the invitation of the World Health Organization and with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa, representatives from the Medicines Patent Pool and other local and international partners of a consortium working to address the global imbalance of manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines met from 6-9 September 2021 to discuss next steps in establishing the South African mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub that will allow for greater and more diversified vaccines manufacturing capability, strengthen African regional health security and respond more equitably to the current COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics. They also visited the Afrigen and Biovac facilities to validate conformity, compliance and alignement with the Hub concept.
[Upcoming event] Satellite session at ICASA 2021
The World Health Organization and MPP will be co-hosting a satellite session at ICASA in Durban on Strengthening Africa’s vaccine manufacturing capacity through the South African mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub. It will take place on Monday 6 December 2021, 14.15-15.00 as a hybrid event (both in person and virtual – subject to changes depending on the sanitary situation).
More details soon!
Access Useful Resources
- The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page from WHO
- The COVID-19 page from Unitaid
- The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) page from WHO
- The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator page from WHO
- The COVID-19 IP Policy Tracker from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- PATENTSCOPE COVID-19 INDEX (a new search facility to support COVID-19 innovation efforts) from WIPO
- WIPO Pearl COVID-19 Glossary