WIPO Re:Search, established by the World Intellectual Property Organization in partnership with BVGH and several leading pharmaceutical companies, brings scientists from academia and biopharmaceutical companies together to develop new therapies for diseases centered in developing nations.
BVGH initiates these partnerships by identifying relevant research assets in pharmaceutical companies and matches them with academic researchers working on neglected tropical diseases.
African researchers and institutions play a significant role in a number of the partnerships featured in this story book.
Today’s report shows a jump in membership from 30 members in 2011 to 100 members across 27 countries in 2015, and from 13 research collaborations in 2012 to 95 collaborations this year.
Takeda and Johnson & Johnson recently joined Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, Merck (MSD), Sanofi, Alnylam, Eisai, and Merck Serono Germany in contributing their resources to advance these neglected disease research programs.
Currently, WIPO Re:Search has expanded into 18 different disease areas. Research focused on malaria, tuberculosis, Chagas disease and leishmaniosis represent the majority of these collaborations. These four diseases affect millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other developing countries. Almost half of the world’s population, 3.2 billion people, are at risk for malaria, which alone killed nearly 600,000 people in 2013. Tuberculosis is endemic in 146 countries and is the second leading killer among infectious diseases.
“Intellectual property is essential to spur innovation. WIPO Re:Search demonstrates that it can also be used as a tool to address debilitating diseases in developing countries,” stated Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO. “This consortium is a particularly successful example of our work in the field of global health.”
“The scope of these partnerships has also expanded from sharing compounds to sharing cutting-edge technology, data, samples and scientific research expertise,” said Jennifer Dent, President of BVGH. “This contributes to helping researchers in endemic countries advance their own product research and scientific capacity.”
The BVGH report highlights 26 specific, successful product development collaborations. It also features the impact of WIPO Re:Search on the University of Lagos in Nigeria.
Read the report: Accelerating R&D for Neglected Diseases through Global Collaborations 2013-2015.