Q&A with Julia Spencer, MSD: Global Diffusion of Molnupiravir

Innovation Council sat down with Julia Spencer, Associate Vice President for Global Multilateral Engagement & Strategic Alliances at MSD, to discuss the development, manufacture, and broad global diffusion of the company’s COVID-19 therapeutic, molnupiravir. The interview touches on a range of topics, including the risks taken by innovators to scale manufacturing as rapidly as possible, voluntary licensing and the establishment of global production networks to ensure adequate global supply, the critical importance of demand forecasting, and factors such as lack of testing that impacted the uptake of molnupiravir in some countries.

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IP Europe blogs on the new SEP Regulation – Part 2

As the SEP Regulation moves through the European legislative process, experts continue to question whether the draft Regulation (a) responds to the concerns raised by the Commission and (b) whether the concerns motivating development of the Regulation exist, based on evidence.

IP Europe has published a series of blogs arguing that the Commission is pushing through new legislation without evidence indicating there is a need for such action. In the third blog, IP Europe focuses on SMEs arguing that that SMEs’ involvement litigation regarding SEPs is rare. The author suggests the Commission may have theorized the problems that SEP litigation is causing for SMEs rather than relying on empirical evidence to form conclusions. In the fourth blog, aggregate royalties is the focus. The author points to the Commission’s perception that there is an absence of information about SEPs and licensing, and thus more SEP disputes, when in reality the Commission’s own impact assessment does not support this. In the fifth blog of the series, IP Europe argues that there is no support for the Commission’s claim that the dispute resolution system for SEP-related disputes is flawed, once again questioning the need for the new Regulation.

Click here to read blogs 3, 4 and 5.

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IP Europe blogs on the new SEP Regulation – Part 1

As the SEP Regulation is moving through the European legislative process, questions have been raised as to whether the draft Regulation (a) responds to the concerns raised by the Commission and (b) whether the concerns motivating development of the Regulation exist, based on evidence.

IP Europe has released a series of blogs arguing that the Commission are pushing through new legislation without evidence to support the decision. In the first two blogs, the author notes that the Commission appear to have ‘cherry picked’ the evidence that supports the Regulation and has focused on complaints by larger technology companies rather than taking an impartial view of the situation. Furthermore, the IP Europe blogs present data indicating that SEP litigation and FRAND disputes are generally declining, another basis for questioning the need for the new Regulation.

Click here to read blog 1 and 2 from the series.

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Why Voluntary Licensing is Best for Increasing Access to Medicines

The Geneva Network recently published analysis about the benefits from voluntarily licensing in the health space. The author argues that voluntary licensing was crucial during COVID-19, aiding the quick and large scale production of vaccines and therapeutics. Overall, it is noted that voluntary licensing can enable long term knowledge transfer, cooperation between companies, and increased flexibility and speed in the innovation process.

Click here to read the full story.

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IP Protection for Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is rapidly evolving to provide accurate information and solutions to problems. AI solutions can be extremely useful in many fields of endeavor.

There are various components and aspects of such systems. Currently, there is some uncertainty – especially with respect to patent protection – as to how intellectual property (IP) rights can be used to protect those components along with the outputs of AI systems.

Click here to read more.

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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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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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