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What They Are Saying: Intellectual Property and Collaboration Critical to Combat COVID-19 in MENA

The biopharmaceutical industry relies on strong intellectual property (IP) rights and global collaboration to ensure the ongoing development of new treatments and cures for patients. Innovation, underpinned by reliable IP protections and strategic partnerships, is now more important than ever as researchers work around the clock to develop solutions to help prevent infection and treat patients with COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel strain of coronavirus.

Experts continue to underscore the significant role that IP and global cooperation play in enabling discovery efforts that may benefit patients throughout MENA, as well as the region’s unique position to facilitate COVID-19 clinical trials. Let’s take a closer look at recent comments from global leaders:

  •  “Intellectual property and patent regulations provide a clear framework in which innovation is encouraged starting from ideation to commercial production. In addition, intellectual property systems work to balance numerous conflicting interests that surround innovation in various fields. It is clear that the race between pharmaceutical companies and laboratories has intensified in an attempt to make a vaccine for COVID-19.” – Wajih Amin Abdulaziz, Senior Legal Advisor at the International Center for Advocacy and Legal Advice, in Al Khaleej (Edited English translation)
  • Now more than ever, nations need to work in close partnership between the government and private sectors to create new initiatives, launch programs, develop policies, drive rigorous research, and develop capacity. It is for this reason that the United Arab Emirates welcomes all contributions by countries of the world, innovative entities and creative individuals who are committed to creating opportunities for joint collaboration towards confronting the threat of COVID-19 and defeating this global pandemic.” – Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Prevention, in Emirates News Agency
  • “The United Arab Emirates is a nation of innovation and tolerance, that is home to individuals from every part of the world and ethnic background. We will work closely with [the UAE] to complete this clinical trial successfully, and make this vaccine available to people in need worldwide. With the full support of local authorities, cutting-edge technologies provided by our partner G42 Healthcare, and high-quality services and support from the medical and clinical entities, we will jointly contribute to the battle against COVID-19 worldwide.” – Jingjin Zhu, President of Biologic Products at Sinopharm CNBG, in Emirates News Agency

Reliable IP protections and global partnerships support MENA’s growing innovation ecosystem by striking a balance between promoting discovery and meeting the needs of patients who rely on life-saving therapies, like those in development to treat COVID-19. Government officials should continue to protect today’s breakthrough ideas that may become tomorrow’s life-saving treatments and seek ongoing opportunities to collaborate with biopharmaceutical entities from around the world.


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