Geneva – The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) today announced that it has signed a licence agreement with Tandem Nano Ltd (TNL), the University of Liverpool (UoL) start-up focused on the development of its proprietary long-acting nanosystems platform technology. The non-exclusive, worldwide licence covers the patents and expertise of promising long-acting injectable technologies (LAIs) that could be applied in three disease areas with a high prevalence in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and hepatitis C (HCV). The candidate LAIs, currently developed by the Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT) based at UoL, could provide optimal doses of medicines for malaria chemoprophylaxis, TB prevention, and HCV cure. The research teams are designing medicines to be delivered through a single injection to achieve the desired effect on the pathogens over prolonged periods, suppressing the need for daily oral pills, among many other advantages at the individual and the community levels.

“Long-acting technologies are particularly suited for use in LMICs where health facilities and personnel are often stretched. If proven safe and effective, the LAIs developed by CELT could have tremendous public health benefits by improving therapeutic outcomes for malaria, TB, and HCV,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of MPP. “These LAIs have the potential to eliminate the pill burden, reduce stigma, and decrease the likelihood of treatment failure, relapse, transmission and the development of resistance to the medication. This licence demonstrates MPP’s willingness to look upstream for interventions when we believe there can be a benefit in access and affordability for people living in LMICs.”

“Tandem Nano is excited to have signed its first agreement with MPP to support this vital project,” said Antony Odell, Executive Chair of Tandem Nano. “We are committed to making our technology accessible to people in need in LMICs and look forward to further collaborations with MPP.”

Approximately 90% of people affected by malaria, 95% of people affected by tuberculosis, and 75% of people living with hepatitis C live in LMICs with a combined burden estimated at 300 million people with more than two million deaths per year in these regions. The MPP-TNL licence will enable accelerated access to affordable, high-quality versions of these promising LAI treatments to these countries. With this licence, MPP will now engage with the relevant stakeholders towards licensing to suitable developers and generic manufacturers.

“The LAI formulations being developed by CELT utilise particle technologies that enable the manufacturing of nanoparticle formulations that allow high drug concentrations and minimise injection volumes required to administer the appropriate doses of the drugs” said Steve Rannard, co-Director of CELT.

“Unitaid has invested US$32 million in the LONGEVITY project to speed up the development of long-acting medicine formulations, which have the potential to revolutionise treatment and prevention for millions of people in LMICs,” said Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid. “We applaud the signing of this licence, and the fruitful partnership between two Unitaid-funded initiatives, MPP and the UoL LONGEVITY project. This early access collaboration will ensure life-saving innovations can be delivered to those who need them as soon as they are ready.”

More information on the licence agreement

More information on MPP’s work in long-acting therapeutics