|18 January 2016|

The fight against tuberculosis and malaria was given a boost after a new milestone was reached by the  World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

The WIPO has now surpassed 100 members and is just shy of 100 agreements to share intellectual property in the fight against these neglected tropical diseases.

The storied French research foundation Institut Pasteur became the 101st member of WIPO Re:Search last month as the consortium also signed its 99th collaboration to bring together research bodies aiming to promote new diagnostics, vaccines and treatments for diseases that afflict more than one billion people worldwide, largely in poorer regions.

“WIPO Re:Search continues to expand its network across the globe, bringing together leading research organizations from developing and developed countries to share intellectual property and scientific data in order to accelerate drug discovery to fight against diseases that affect the world’s most-vulnerable populations,” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. “Institut Pasteur now brings more than a century of pioneering research in medicine and vaccines to that effort, further strengthening the work of this unique collaboration.”

WIPO Re:Search allows organisations to share their intellectual property, compounds, expertise, facilities and know-how royalty-free with qualified researchers worldwide working on new solutions for the maladies, which affect more than one billion people across the globe.

President of WIPO Re:Search partner BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) Jennifer Dent welcomed the results. “WIPO Re:Search is an important initiative in the effort to eliminate neglected tropical diseases. The many collaborations facilitated by BVGH between industry and endemic-country institutions are a critical component to the success of this effort,” she said.

“By joining the WIPO Re:Search consortium, Institut Pasteur looks forward to furthering its longstanding commitment to combating infectious diseases and its mission together with the Institut Pasteur International Network in 33 countries to contribute solving global health issues, in particular through technology transfer and partnerships”, said Christian Bréchot, president of the Institut Pasteur.

Under the most-recently agreed collaboration, researchers from University of Ibadan in Nigeria and National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD), Chinese CDC /Fudan University, will work together on serum samples from Nigerian schistosomiasis patients.

WIPO Re:Search, launched in late 2011, provides a searchable, public database of available intellectual property assets and resources. Through the consortium, BVGH facilitates new partnerships to support organizations that conduct research on treatments for neglected tropical diseases, ultimately improving the lives of those most in need.

The consortium added 10 new partners in 2015 and finalized 21 collaboration agreements.