BIO Ventures for Global Health, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Alnylam announced today that the organizations are partnering to engage the global health community in using the powerful resources of the GSK and Alnylam Intellectual Property (IP) Pool. The IP Pool was formed in February 2009 to aid in the discovery and development of new medicines for the treatment of 16 neglected tropical diseases, as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in the world's least developed countries. By adopting a more accessible approach to intellectual property, the pool facilitates access to compounds and technologies and, most importantly, industrial know-how for organizations that want to conduct research on treatments for these neglected diseases.
"New medicines for diseases that primarily affect the poor in developing countries have been slow in coming because although the market is large in numbers, most of the people affected and their governments cannot afford to pay even moderate prices. This means that much of the development of new medicines is taking place in innovative non-profits and academic research centers," says Melinda Moree, Chief Executive Officer of BIO Ventures for Global Health, an independent, non-profit organization. "For many of these academic and global health non-profit groups, however, intellectual property can be perceived as preventing rather than enabling their work. I am excited to use this new role to help those working on developing products for neglected diseases speed up their efforts by accessing the patents, technologies, and product development expertise available in the IP Pool."
As the pool's administrator, BIO Ventures for Global Health will organize disease-specific meetings that identify the gaps in expertise and intellectual property that currently exist in product development for neglected diseases. BIO Ventures for Global Health will then help global health researchers work with industry to fill these gaps so that the resources generously made available by companies will be used to create medicines for neglected diseases faster and more efficiently.
"We applaud the actions of GSK, Alnylam, and other forward-thinking companies who want to contribute their knowledge and resources to help speed the development of medicines for poor patients in the developing world," says Moree. "The fact is that millions of people die each year from these neglected diseases and the pace of drug development is far too slow for the enormous need. The IP Pool will move medicines for neglected diseases forward more quickly and effectively and help save lives in the developing world."
SOURCE BIO Ventures for Global Health