COVID-19

Slideshow: Innovation and the COVID-19 Response

On 26 November 2021 the new research report about the role that intellectual property played in the development, manufacturing, and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics was launched in Geneva. The report was co-authored by Innovation Council’s very own Jennifer Brant, and Prof. Mark Schultz.

The report is available here, along with a slideshow of the research project.

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Unprecedented – The Rapid Innovation Response to COVID-19 and the Role of Intellectual Property

Jennifer Brant, Director of Innovation Council, will present a recent research report that she co-authored about the constructive role played by IP rights in the rapid development and manufacturing of COVID-19 solutions. Jetane Charsley, Head of NIPMO, will host the event and lead a moderated discussion.

Tuesday, May 10 / 01:00 PM Johannesburg (CET)

Click here to register for this event.

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UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update

UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update was published on 17 February 2022. It shows that in 2021 global trade growth remained strong, as its value continued to increase through each quarter of 2021. Trade growth was not only limited to goods, as trades in services also grew substantially through 2021, to finally reach pre-pandemic levels during Q4 2021.

Read the full report.

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A Covid vaccine breakthrough bypasses the stale debate on patent waivers 

Heated debates have taken place at the WTO TRIPS Council over Covid-19 vaccine patents and IP rights, with ongoing discussions still taking place among diplomats from the US, India, South Africa, and the EU. For vaccine researchers, manufacturers, and public experts, though, the focus may have moved on some time ago, says Alan Beattie in a new “trade secrets” posting for the FT. Governments seem also to be shifting focus to emphasize practical efforts to extend  manufacturing and distribution capacity globally; by way of example, the EU recently announced a €1bn contribution to finance the German company BioNTech to set up a mobile vaccine manufacturing plant in Africa assembled from kits.

Read the full story. 

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Slideshow: Extending Bio-manufacturing Networks in Africa and IP and Covid

This slideshow presents key messages from the recent Innovation Council – Bobab online discussion about extending bio-manufacturing networks in emerging regions, notably Africa. The discussion on February 8th featured Prof. Mark Schultz of the University of Akron School of Law, Anissa Boumlic of Merck Life Science, and Simon Agwale of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative. Click here for the video of the event, and click here to review a transcript of the event.

Read the full story.

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Center for Global Development series on the EU-Africa Summit

On February 17th, the long-awaited summit between the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), delayed since 2020, finally began. But in the time since the first event was scheduled, the world was ravaged by a pandemic that is estimated to have stalled a decade of continuous growth and human capital improvement on the African continent.

The Center for Global Development prepared an excellent series on the EU-Africa Summit consisting of mini reports by CGD experts about the various joint priorities set out by the AU and the EU. The series offers compelling analysis and commentary on the actions needed in order for a meaningful reconstruction of the relationship between the two continents to materialize. 

Find the series here.

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BioNTech to supply modular vaccine plants to African countries

The German company BioNTech announced on February 16th its plans to supply modular plants to make mRNA vaccines to Rwanda, Senegal and, potentially, South Africa. This announcement came ahead of a Europe-Africa summit at which increasing vaccine production in Africa is expected to be a vital topic of discussion. Not only would BioNTech be responsible for the delivery and installation of the modules, but the company said it was prepared to transfer know-how to local partners to enable them to operate independently.

While it had been previously stated that voluntary technology transfers had so far been limited during the pandemic, this was contradicted by research published end-2021, which can be found in an online report

Read the full story. 

 

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Bobab discussion about bio-manufacturing in emerging regions

The Innovation Council and Bobab organised a discussion on expanding BioManufacturing production capacity in emerging regions. Biologics, a category of pharmaceuticals which includes products such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, are quickly becoming among the most important medical products in the world. By combining enabling government policies and technology transfer between innovators and their global partners, it will be possible to improve availability of biologics, increase health security, and enhance scientific and industrial capacity in developing countries.

Click here to see the transcript.

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What’s at stake in COVID-19 jab patent waiver row

Over a year into global COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the question of whether jab formulas ought to be freely available is still unresolved—and undersupplied countries are turning to workarounds.

Here’s a look at the waiver row, with arguments for and against as well as workarounds that have sprung up in the meantime.

Read more.

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