Milestone: research institute shares patents and know-how globally through C-TAP

Wemos is delighted that the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) shares its intellectual property and know-how for the production of its Covid-19 diagnostic tool with the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) of the World Health Organization (WHO). As such, CSIC permits all qualified manufacturers worldwide to make the product and distribute it to any country in the world, royalty-free for low- and middle-income countries. This is the first global, non-exclusive license for a Covid-19 innovation and thus a milestone for equal access to medical products.

Global access

Wemos is a strong advocate of the use of C-TAP. In May 2020, WHO established this platform to enhance equitable global access to essential commodities to fight Covid-19 as soon and effective as possible.

Through C-TAP, manufacturers of innovations for the prevention and control of Covid-19 can share their intellectual property rights and know-how, optionally in return for a fee. Consequently, all certified manufacturers worldwide may produce these commodities too and distribute them for affordable prices to low- and middle-income countries. The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) assists C-TAP in negotiations with manufacturers.

Following the example

CSIC is now, 18 months after the creation of C-TAP, the first to contribute to the platform. CSIC is a public research institution associated with the Spanish government. So far, pharmaceutical companies have refrained from sharing their intellectual property rights and know-how through C-TAP, which has in particular resulted in major vaccine shortages in many countries.

The example of CSIC shows that C-TAP is now an operational mechanism to make medical products against Covid-19 widely available. Wemos calls upon pharmaceutical companies to follow suit and urges national governments to actively support C-TAP and stimulate companies to share their information too.

Non-exclusive

Recently, pharmaceutical companies Merck and Pfizer announced that they are sharing their intellectual property and know-how for their antivirals against Covid-19 with the MPP. A major difference with C-TAP is that Merck’s and Pfizer’s deals with the MPP are limited to access to a number of certain low- and middle-income countries. As a result, some middle-income countries, especially in South America and Asia, are excluded. The agreement between CSIC and C-TAP is non-exclusive and therefore does not exclude any country.

Through C-TAP, CSIC shares all intellectual property rights and know-how relevant for the production of its Covid-19 technology and it will provide training to potential manufacturers.

More information in this press release by WHO: https://www.who.int/news/item/23-11-2021-who-and-mpp-announce-the-first-transparent-global-non-exclusive-licence-for-a-covid-19-technology

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