South Africa Must Revoke Key COVID-19 Patents, Says MSF
Eli Lilly Baricitinib Patent Is Limiting Access To Affordable Generics
Eli Lilly’s Olumiant (baricitinib) patent in South Africa is unjustifiably preventing generics manufacturers from selling cheaper versions of the drug in the country, MSF insists. The arthritis drug has been recommended as a treatment for severe and critical cases of COVID-19 by the WHO.
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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.
Merck and Lilly tackle some early challenges before striking voluntary licensing deals for COVID-19 therapies with Indian firms. Data around the use of these drugs in low- and middle-income countries could also potentially make them ‘more acceptable’ elsewhere, experts say.
Coronavirus Notebook: South Africa To Build mRNA Vaccine Tech Transfer Hub, EMA OKs More Comirnaty Production Capacity
MSF is pressuring Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech to share their vaccine know-how with manufacturers in developing countries, and companies have just a few days to answer the European Commission's questions about COVID-19 therapies they have in development.