Geneva — The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is pleased to announce the launch of a new version of its patents and licences database, MedsPaL. MedsPaL is a free resource that provides crucial information on the intellectual property status of patented essential medicines, COVID-19 vaccines, and long-acting platform technologies, with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The latest update introduces a suite of new features designed to enhance user engagement and accessibility. Among these, the ability to save searches and set up email notifications stands out, enabling users to stay informed about the latest developments in their areas of interest. The redesigned platform now also boasts improved mobile compatibility, ensuring that users can access the information they require on-the-go. Additionally, a new licence tab has been introduced, providing detailed insights into licensing agreements. The enhanced reporting tools, including interactive maps, donut charts, and timelines, offer a dynamic way to visualise data and extract meaningful insights from the intellectual property landscape.

Created in 2016, MedsPaL serves as a comprehensive database offering insights into the intellectual property landscape of key health technologies and products, including:

Charles Gore, Executive Director, the Medicines Patent Pool, said: “The enhanced features of MedsPaL mark a significant step forward in our mission to improve access to crucial health-related intellectual property information. This advancement will undoubtedly empower stakeholders across the globe in their decision-making processes, leading to increased access to essential health products in LMICs.”

Dr Yukiko Nakatani, Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products, the World Health Organization said: “The World Health Organization supports initiatives that improve the transparency and accessibility of health-related intellectual property information. The updates to MedsPaL align with our goal to ensure that essential medical innovations are accessible to those who need them most, especially in LMICs.”

Philippe Duneton, Executive Director, Unitaid said: “Unitaid is committed to fostering innovation and accessibility in global health. The enhancements to the MedsPaL platform offer a more efficient way for stakeholders to navigate the complex landscape of health-related intellectual property. We fully support this initiative which contributes to the equitable distribution of essential health products, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.”

Harm Veerkamp, Director, Procurement Services, IDA Foundation said: “We are regular users of MedsPaL and the launch of its updated platform is a welcome development for procurement agencies. It offers practical enhancements that will aid in the effective management of our medicine sourcing and supply chains. The ability to save searches and receive notifications, in particular, ensures that we are up to date with the latest patent information, which is vital for our procurement strategies.”

MedsPaL new features include:

  1. Updated Interface and Integration:
    1. MedsPaL new look and feel that enhances user experience.
    2. Inclusion of all the information previously available on a separate platform called VaxPaL, MPP’s former COVID-19 vaccines patent database.
  1. Expanded Information:
    1. Information on health products’ clinical development status, dosage form and route of administration and on countries’ region and World Bank income classification
    2. Re-designed patent cards allowing users to identify all patent family members and products associated to a specific patent (among those in MedsPaL).
  1. Enhanced Search Functionality:
    1. MedsPaL search now supports visible multi-selection in the same frame.
    2. Twelve advanced search filters have been added to help users fine tune their results.
  1. Save Search and Email Notification:
    1. Users can now store and manage their searches in a personal space.
    2. Email notifications may be enabled on saved searches to be notified of any important alterations (e.g. changes in patent status, new patent, new licence or any other modification).
  1. Improved Page Design and Reporting:
    1. Licences are now also shown in dedicated new tabs on both the Table and Reports views.
    2. The Reports view presents a novel perspective on patent and licensing data, allowing for streamlined analysis through interactive maps, donut charts, and timelines, providing users with a more comprehensive understanding of patent statuses and geographic dispersion.

MedsPaL’s journey began in October 2016, focusing on medicines for HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis. In December 2017, it expanded its coverage to include all patented medicines on the WHO EML. In March 2020, the database was further expanded to provide patent information on treatment candidates for COVID-19. In parallel, another similar user interface, called VaxPaL was released in November 2023, which is now integrated into MedsPaL.

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About the Medicines Patent Pool:

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, MPP partners with civil society, governments, international organisations, industry, patient groups, and other stakeholders, to prioritise and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, MPP has signed agreements with 22 patent holders for 13 HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, three hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals, a tuberculosis treatment, a cancer treatment, four long-acting technologies, a post-partum haemorrhage medicine, three oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 and 16 COVID-19 technologies. MPP was founded by Unitaid, which continues to be MPP’s main funder. MPP’s work on access to essential medicines is also funded by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the Japanese Government, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

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Sophie Thievenaz

Medicines Patent Pool