Unveiling the New Technology Transfer License
In an innovative move towards improving global health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) have established a new technology transfer license. This groundbreaking initiative is designed to facilitate the production of essential diagnostics for COVID-19, HIV, malaria, syphilis, and potentially other diseases. The technology is particularly beneficial for low and middle-income countries, promising to significantly enhance patient access to these crucial diagnostics.
Partnering with SD Biosensor Inc
The WHO and MPP have announced a license agreement with SD Biosensor Inc. This agreement grants sublicensees the right, know-how, and material needed to manufacture rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) technology for COVID-19 and other diseases. The license aligns with the WHA Resolution 76.5 on strengthening diagnostics capacity and the objectives of the C-TAP initiative. This license extends the opportunities created by C-TAP’s multilateral technology-sharing mechanism beyond COVID to other public health diseases, in line with the new business model known as the Health Technology Access Pool (HTAP).
Improving Access to Essential Diagnostics
The new technology transfer license aims at improving access to essential diagnostics, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. These countries often face challenges in sourcing and financing for essential diagnostics. This initiative by WHO and MPP is a game-changing move that will significantly reduce these barriers, ensuring a wider reach of essential diagnostics.
Role of Product Development Partnerships (PDPs)
PDPs play a significant role in bringing new and required health technologies to the market, especially in low and middle-income countries. They have successfully brought more health technologies to market and are addressing new access challenges. PDPs must work alongside other public sector institutions and local manufacturers in a larger innovation ecosystem. By 2021, at least 66 health technologies have emerged from PDPs, reaching an estimated 2.4 billion people over the prior decade. They have shown a particular focus on the challenge of therapeutic access in the R&D pipeline, addressing concerns of marketplace affordability and effective use of these technologies in the health care delivery system.
Integrating AI in Health Technologies
While this initiative is a major step forward, the healthcare sector continues to innovate and evolve. Recent discussions highlight the need for new regulatory thinking for AI-based personalised drug and cell therapies in precision oncology. The potential for AI-guided precision design of non-personalised disease-specific advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) is being explored. Despite the challenges in regulatory approval for ATMPs for cancer therapy, advancements in AI approaches for therapy design, planning, and delivery at the patient’s bedside are being made. The potential for AI-enabled personalised therapeutics is also being examined, highlighting the need for adaptable regulatory frameworks for the adoption of these new technologies.
The new technology transfer license by the WHO and MPP marks a significant milestone in global health. By facilitating the production and access to essential diagnostics, it promises to revolutionize healthcare in low and middle-income countries. The integration of new technologies, such as AI, into healthcare further underscores the exciting future of healthcare innovation. However, it is essential to ensure that these advancements are accessible and beneficial to all, particularly those in low and middle-income countries.