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May 13, 2022

US NIH licences Covid-19 technologies to WHO and MPP

The technologies include SARS-CoV-2 stabilised spike protein, early-stage vaccine and diagnostic candidates, and research tools.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has finalised an agreement to licence 11 Covid-19 technologies to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) through the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

The move was announced by the US Government during the second Global Covid-19 Summit.

The technologies include SARS-CoV-2 stabilised spike protein, early-stage vaccine and diagnostic candidates, and research tools to support the development of vaccines and therapeutics.

According to WHO, the list includes RNASEH-assisted detection assay for RNA, detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA virus, and a high-throughput diagnostic test.

The global and non-exclusive licences will help manufacturers to collaborate with MPP and C-TAP to use the technologies to make Covid-19 diagnosis and treatment available for people living in low- and middle-income countries.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “I welcome the generous contribution NIH has made to C-TAP and its example of solidarity and sharing.

“Whether it’s today’s pandemic or tomorrow’s health emergency, it’s through sharing and empowering lower-income countries to manufacture their own health tools that we can ensure a healthier future for everyone.”

NIH acting director Lawrence A Tabak said: “NIH scientists have developed innovative Covid-19 research tools, vaccines and diagnostics. While NIH cannot commercialise these early-stage technologies, we can share our knowledge wherever feasible to support our global partners.”

In 2020, WHO launched C-TAP to support swift, equitable and affordable access to Covid-19 health products. MPP holds the licences of the products.

Last year, C-TAP and MPP finalised a licencing agreement with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) for its Covid-19 serological antibody test.

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