Partnerships Are Bringing Lifesaving Treatments To The Middle East And North Africa
As the world prepares for future public health threats to emerge, it’s imperative public and private sector leaders are collaborating to address these challenges with innovative treatments and solutions.
In the Middle East and North Africa, public-private partnerships between biopharmaceutical companies and other organizations, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have demonstrated how to effectively treat emerging threats to public health.
In response to the COIVD-19 pandemic, companies have entered into voluntary agreements to allow generic manufacturers to produce treatments and expand patient access. Some examples include:
- In January 2022, biopharmaceutical manufacturers, including Merck and Hikma Pharmaceuticals in Jordan, signed a licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). This agreement allows generic manufacturers to produce Merck’s oral COVID-19 antiviral medication.
- SaudiVax, a biotechnology company focused on the development of vaccines and biologics, was established to manufacture high quality and affordable vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. In April 2020, drug manufacturer Merck signed a collaborative research agreement with SaudiVax to explore potential vaccinations and treatments for coronaviruses.
- Gilead entered a voluntary licensing agreement with Eva Pharma in Egypt to increase production of remdesivir.
These partnerships protect the intellectual property (IP) of the innovator while increasing access to treatments.
Continued protection of innovators’ IP is critical for companies to invest in research and development of medicines to treat COVID-19 and address future public health threats. This is why voluntary partnerships are good models to increase patient access to medicines. Collaborations like these support greater access to innovative treatments and medicines without infringing on IP protections, demonstrating that waiving IP rights isn’t necessary.