Friday, 16 May 2014

WIPO Re:Search making progress in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines NTDs as: "...a group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that cause substantial illness for more than one billion people globally". WHO prioritises 17 NTDs which, it believes, are endemic in 149 countries; it currently has roadmap targets, for 2015 and 2020, towards tackling them. 

Remember the London Declaration on NTDs?; here is a report on the promises. As always, there is more to be done. Mark Kessel argues that the goals (or hope to see the omission of the word "neglected") would not be achieved unless there is an equal focus to fund diagnostics for NTDs. 

WIPO's effort
Apart from the news that Mr. Francis Gurry has been successfully re-elected, WIPO tells us that its impressive initiative, Re:Search, has reached a remarkable level - since its launch in 2011.Their press release tells us a bit about this initiative:

Source: here
Afro Leo also likes to teach
little Leos how to hunt
"...WIPO Re:Search matches owners of intellectual property and other resources – such as pharmaceutical compounds, data and discovery techniques – with qualified researchers working on new treatments for NTDs. Under the agreements, these resources are provided for free. So far, more than 50 such collaborations have been agreed, underscoring WIPO Re:Search’s growing influence in the public-health sphere." 

This Leo understands that this project has now secured its 60th partner - apparently, Chevron is also involved in the discussions - and it seems African countries feature heavily in this initiative. Lastly, he notes that IP Australia is totting-up its Afro Leo IP technical assistance points by supporting WIPO Re:Search.

Says Afro Leo, "great news! By the way, Chevron is not new to this sort of CSR (also see here). To WIPO, well done. Rather than wait for Big Pharma to spend many millions of dollars on NTDs, currently with little or no commercial value, invite African-based pharmaceutical experts (it is assumed) to learn from Big Pharma on how to do it -with the necessary support- by and for themselves - with little or no strings attached, hopefully. It is hoped that African Governments are fully behind this, one way or another, and that these scientists or researchers will eventually come up with affordable and effective solutions to NTDs".

Well, knowledge exchange goes both ways.

Learn more about Re:Search here or WHO's Africa Region, here
WIPO Re:Search reported by the IPKat in 2011 here
Why not also see how not-for-profit drug development is gaining momentum, here, or how NTDs can be tackled here.
To learn how to integrate CSR into your business model, click herehere or here.

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