Medicines for Malaria Venture Becomes First Product Development Partnership to Contribute Patents to the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases
WASHINGTON, Aug 16, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) today became the first product development partnership (PDP) to contribute intellectual property to the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases. MMV joins GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in contributing to the Pool, which is administered by BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). The Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases seeks to motivate innovative and efficient drug discovery and development by opening access to intellectual property or know-how in neglected tropical disease research. MMV's contribution of patents to the Pool, resulting from its research for new antimalarials, is an important milestone from an organization that plays a major role in leading the development of new therapeutics for this terrible disease.
By emphasizing a more accessible approach to intellectual property and know-how, the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases facilitates access to patents and/or technologies for organizations that want to conduct research on treatments for these neglected diseases. The Pool is accessible to industry, non-profit institutions, and academic researchers to conduct research and drug development activities that deliver real benefits for patients in the least developed countries of the world.
"By joining the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases, MMV is proud to join forces with a group of organizations all working to relieve the enormous burden of diseases affecting vulnerable populations in the developing world. In this way we hope to make fully available the know-how and technologies, assembled by MMV against malaria, for the research and development of innovative and efficacious treatments for other neglected diseases," says Professor Patrick Nef, Executive Vice President of Business Development at MMV. "Our contribution to the Pool is in line with our commitment to providing affordable antimalarial treatments for the public good. Allowing free access to MMV's IP and know-how is a sure path to maximizing dissemination and usage of our initial research supported by investment from our philanthropic donors, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."
"We are very pleased that MMV has joined the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases," says Don Joseph, Chief Operating Officer of BIO Ventures for Global Health. "Having MMV, a global product development partnership conducting important work toward the treatment of malaria, opens a new dimension for the Pool for Open Innovation by demonstrating the range of organizations supporting the Pool through open access and application of their intellectual property."
About the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases
The Pool for Open Innovation was established in February 2009 with the mission of motivating innovative and efficient drug discovery and development by opening access to intellectual property or know-how in neglected tropical disease product development. The diseases targeted by the pool are the 16 diseases identified by the FDA for its own Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) initiative: tuberculosis, malaria, blinding trachoma, buruli ulcer, cholera, dengue/dengue haemorrhagic fever, racunculiasis, fascioliasis, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthiasis, and yaws. The geographic focus of the pool will be the world's Least Developed Countries as identified by the United Nations and includes much of western and central Africa as well as several countries in Southeast Asia. GlaxoSmithKline became the first major pharmaceutical company to propose a pool for neglected tropical disease in February 2009; Alnylam Pharmaceuticals joined the pool in July 2009 and BIO Ventures for Global Health was chosen as the administrator of the pool in January 2010. In January 2010, it was announced that the Emory Institute for Drug Development and iThemba Pharmaceuticals joined the pool to access its know-how, experience, and intellectual property to accelerate its drug discovery initiatives for neglected tropical diseases. South Africa's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) subsequently joined in May 2010 as the first government agency to access the Pool's resources in order to accelerate its efforts to grow the South African biotechnology sector and enhance the quality of life of those affected by neglected tropical diseases.
Medicines for Malaria Venture, a not-for-profit public-private partnership, was established as a foundation in Switzerland in 1999. It is dedicated to the reduction of the malaria burden in disease-endemic countries with the discovery, development and delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs. Our vision is a world in which these innovative medicines will cure and protect the vulnerable and under-served populations at risk of malaria, and help to ultimately eradicate this terrible disease.
MMV's mission is to bring public, private and philanthropic sector partners together to fund and manage the discovery, development and delivery of new medicines for the treatment and prevention of malaria in disease-endemic countries.
About BIO Ventures for Global Health
BIO Ventures for Global Health is a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives by accelerating the development of novel biotechnology-based drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics to address the unmet medical needs of the developing world. The organization spurs biotech industry involvement in global health product development by increasing biotech and global health partnerships, designing and advocating for compelling market-based incentives, and synthesizing and disseminating critical information and quantitative analysis. For more information, please visit www.bvgh.org.
About GlaxoSmithKline -- one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies -- is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information, please visit www.gsk.com.
About Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Alnylam is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics based on RNA interference, or RNAi. The company is applying its therapeutic expertise in RNAi to address significant medical needs, many of which cannot effectively be addressed with small molecules or antibodies, the current major classes of drugs. Alnylam is leading the translation of RNAi as a new class of innovative medicines with peer-reviewed research efforts published in the world's top scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, and Cell. The company is leveraging these capabilities to build a broad pipeline of RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of a wide range of disease areas, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), liver cancers, TTR-mediated amyloidosis (ATTR), hypercholesterolemia, and Huntington's disease. In addition, Alnylam formed Alnylam Biotherapeutics, a division of the company focused on the development of RNAi technologies for application in manufacturing processes for biotherapeutic products, including recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies. The company's leadership position in fundamental patents, technology, and know-how relating to RNAi has enabled it to form major alliances with leading companies including Medtronic, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Roche, Takeda, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, and Cubist. Alnylam and Isis are joint owners of Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA-based therapeutics. Founded in 2002, Alnylam maintains headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.alnylam.com.
SOURCE: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
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