At a White House briefing Wednesday morning on science, technology and innovation for global development, head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dr. Francis Collins announced a new effort to increase access to innovative technologies for those working to provide broad global access to technologies, products and services.
The Model Non-Profit License Agreement for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria Technologies was created for non-profit institutions and product development partnerships with a demonstrated commitment to neglected diseases to apply to use patented inventions and non-patented biological materials from NIH and the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) intramural laboratories.
“We want to be sure that any non-profit organization that has interest in developing these technologies knows in advance the very favorable terms they would receive… So there is no hesitation in coming to us and also in getting a license in place to get the technology moving,” said Dr. Mark Rohrbaugh, director of the NIH Office of Technology Transfer.
“The available license scope includes vaccines, drugs, therapeutics and diagnostics (or enabling technologies to produce such products) to prevent, diagnose or treat neglected tropical diseases (“NTDs”, as defined by WHO), HIV, TB and malaria in humans or animals,” according to the agreement website. “The model license has a $2,000 up front fee and modest royalties on sales of 1.5 percent for exclusive licenses and 0.75 percent for non-exclusive licenses, excluding sales to public sector institutions or institutions using public-sector funds (such as PEPFAR or Global Fund).”
Rohrbaugh said they have the largest patent and license portfolio among public sector institutions in the biomedical field, a wealth of valuable information that could spur innovation in global health. As an example of the potential of the program, an FDA scientist recently developed a technology that was licensed to the international non-profit organization PATH. PATH in turn used that technology to develop a meningitis vaccine to be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We ‘d like to see more of those transactions occur and more non-profits take up our technologies to bring them to the people that most need them in low-income areas of the world,” Rohrbaugh said.