Egypt joins WHO global initiative to openly share research to fight coronavirus

Egypt has on Friday signed up the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), a global initiative aimed at making vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight coronavirus accessible to all.

The Pool was first proposed in March by Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado, who joined WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the official launch of the initiative on May 29.

Egypt has joined the initiative along with multiple international partners and institutions and 36 countries including Lebanon, Oman, Sudan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, and the Netherlands.

“Global solidarity and collaboration are essential to overcoming COVID-19,” said Ghebreyesus.

“Based on strong science and open collaboration, this information-sharing platform will help provide equitable access to life-saving technologies around the world.”

The Pool will be voluntary and based on social solidarity. It will provide a one-stop shop for scientific knowledge, data, and intellectual property to be shared equitably by the global community.

It aims to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by mobilising additional manufacturing capacity. This will help ensure faster and more equitable access to existing and new COVID-19 health products.

There are five key elements to the WHO initiative:

  • Public disclosure of gene sequences and data;
  • Transparency around the publication of all clinical trial results;
  • Governments and other funders are encouraged to include clauses in funding agreements with pharmaceutical companies and other innovators about equitable distribution, affordability and the publication of trial data;
  • Licensing any potential treatment, diagnostic, vaccine, or other health technology to the Medicines Patent Pool – a United Nations-backed public health body that works to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.
  • Promotion of open innovation models and technology transfer that increase local manufacturing and supply capacity, including through joining the Open Covid Pledge and the Technology Access Partnership (TAP).

With supportive countries across the globe, C-TAP will serve as a sister initiative to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and other initiatives to support efforts to fight COVID-19 worldwide.

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