Former World Health Organization Assistant Director-General brings more than four decades of experience in public health systems and innovation to the MPP.
Geneva, 3 July 2017 — The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) Governance Board today announced the appointment of Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny as its new chair, effective 1 September 2017. Dr. Kieny, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s former Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, succeeds Sigrun Møgedal, chair since March 2016 and Charles Clift, the MPP’s founding chairman. She will lead a nine-member board in guiding the foundation’s voluntary licensing and patent pooling work in HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis.
“Marie-Paule Kieny, an internationally renowned health specialist and researcher, is a tremendous addition to the MPP Governance Board,” said Sigrun Møgedal, Special Adviser to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and former Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Global Health Initiatives for Norway. “Under her leadership, we are confident that the MPP will succeed in its overall mission of improving access to medicines for millions of people in low- and middle-income nations.”
Dr. Kieny was appointed Assistant Director-General of the WHO in October 2010 where she led the Innovation, Information, Evidence and Research cluster until 2012, and the Health Systems and Innovation cluster until 30 June 2017. Prior to these roles, she directed the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research where her successes included the development and licensing of new vaccines for meningitis A and pandemic influenza for developing countries. In 2014-2016, Dr. Kieny led WHO’s Ebola research activities. She also conducted the organisation’s R&D response to Zika as well as the preparation of an R&D Blueprint to accelerate global preparedness for future epidemics. Before her tenure at the WHO, Dr. Kieny was Assistant Scientific Director of Transgene and Director of Research at the Institute of Virology, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM).
“In its short six-years, the MPP has played a valuable role in supporting international public health efforts to increase treatment options for people living with HIV, and is now engaged in tuberculosis and hepatitis C,” said Dr. Kieny. “I am pleased to lend a hand to the organisation during this crucial period in its history, a time when new public health mechanisms such as the MPP are desperately needed to address pressing access to medicines challenges.”
The MPP was founded by Unitaid in 2010 to improve the HIV response and the Unitaid Executive Board approved its expansion into hepatitis C and tuberculosis in late 2015. To date, it has signed licensing agreements for 15 medicines to allow generic treatment distribution in up to 131 low- and middle-income countries. Its 17 product development partners have distributed close to five billion doses of low-cost treatments.
About the Medicines Patent Pool
The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with industry, civil society, international organisations, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise, forecast and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for twelve HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, a tuberculosis treatment and two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals. The MPP is funded by Unitaid.
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