Prioritising Medicines for Licensing

The first step in MPP’s work on licensing is to select candidate medicines for in-licensing that could have the greatest public health impact in low-resource settings.

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) works to improve access to treatments for HIV, hepatitis C, tuberculosis and other patented essential medicines with high medical and public health value, in low- and middle-income countries.

Since our creation in 2010, we have published a list of priority treatments for our licensing programme. This started in HIV and was subsequently expanded to include hepatitis C and tuberculosis.

In 2018, following an extensive feasibility study, our mandate was expanded to include key medicines in other diseases areas that were on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) or had strong potential for future inclusion, such as those for treating cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.  In 2019, MPP started exploring the opportunity to apply its model to long-acting formulations and technologies that could be important in LMICs, at various levels of development.

The focus so far has been on small molecules. In 2021, the MPP Board expanded its mandate to include biotherapeutics that are on the WHO EML or have strong potential for future inclusion, which will be included in subsequent prioritisation reports.

By expanding access to essential medicines, MPP is committed to supporting Universal Health Coverage.

Our method for prioritising treatments, developed with the support of a broad range of experts, is based on addressing three sequential questions:

  1. How important is a given medicine in LMICs?
  2. Are there access challenges with respect to that medicine in LMICs?
  3. Is the medicine patented in LMICs?

Prioritisation of Medicines for In-Licensing by the Medicines Patent Pool – 2021

The 2021 Prioritisation Report includes: three HIV and one TB compound, as well as one long-acting technology. For the first time, the report also includes essential medicines for non-communicable diseases that were identified by the WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines as treatments for which MPP should explore obtaining licences. This includes eight cancer medicines, one class of diabetes medicines and one compound for RNMCH.

The current target products for licensing are:

Priorities in HIV:

  • Cabotegravir
  • Islatravir
  • Lenacapavir

Priorities in TB:

  • Bedaquiline

Long-acting Technologies:

Lung Cancer:

  • Osimertinib

Breast Cancer:

  • Ribociclib
  • Abemaciclib
  • Palbociclib


  • Ibrutinib
  • Zanubrutinib
  • Nilotinib

Prostate Cancer:

  • Enzalutamide


  • Empagliflozin
  • Dapagliflozin
  • Canagliflozin

Essential medicines for non-communicable diseases and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health:

  • Heat Stable Carbetocin

Access the 2021 Prioritisation Report

Access previous reports (archives)

Comments are welcome and encouraged. Please send an email to, with the subject line “Comments on the 2021 Prioritisation Report”.

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