Calls For COVID Patent Waivers Persist As Pooling Initiatives Plough Ahead
Patents On COVID-19 Therapeutics Have Been Accused Of Impeding International Access
The formulas for various COVID-19 vaccines remain shrouded in intellectual property protections – one of many factors preventing them from being manufactured in developing nations. Those in favor of upholding IP say that scrapping patents could stifle future innovation, but their opponents believe preserving COVID-19 related IP rights is limiting access to lifesaving medical tools.
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Early conversations on clinical trial endpoints were particularly helpful in developing Comirnaty, a Pfizer executive said. Whether sponsors can continue to get such discussions may go a long way in determining whether a new generation of products is developed.
A group of 35 generics manufacturers have signed agreements with the Medicines Patent Pool to supply Paxlovid generics to 95 low- and middle-income countries.
South African researchers make own version of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine that uses “recipes” available in the public domain but one that is eventually expected to be “second generation” and can be more applicable to use in low- and middle-income countries. The initiative, under the wider WHO-backed mRNA vaccine technology hub, doesn’t see Moderna or BioNTech intellectual property as being a barrier.