Glaxo set up the pool in response to the fact that few organizations are investing in research for diseases of the developing world. New ways of working are particularly required to help bridge the gap in the severe lack of R&D and access to medicines for the treatment of 16 neglected tropical diseases.
The pool adopts a more accessible approach to intellectual property so that patents, technologies, and know-how can be made available to researchers around the world.
MIT is the first university to contribute intellectual property to the pool, while South Africa’s newly created Technology Innovation Agency will become the first governmental agency to join the pool. The move will help to stimulate the Agency’s plans to increase research for neglected tropical diseases, particularly tuberculosis.
The pool was set up by GlaxoSmithKline in February 2009, joined by Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, and is administered by BIO Ventures for Global Health, 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.