WHO and Costa Rica launch landmark Covid-19 research group

By - World Healthcare Journal
WHO and Costa Rica launch landmark Covid-19 research group

On Friday 29 May, the WHO in partnership with the Costa Rican government officially launched a collaborative science and research group, dubbed the “Covid-19 Technology Access Pool” or ‘C-TAP’.  

So far, more than 30 countries and international institutions have announced their participation in the group, with the primary aim of the organisation focused on accelerating the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open research, and to fast-track development of new Covid-19 treatments.

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

“The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” says President Alvarado of Costa Rica.

“Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods”.

Participation in the group itself will be voluntary, serving as a “one-stop shop” for knowledge, data and intellectual property to be shared throughout the global community.

The group will serve as a #home? i=_eyJhcnRpY2xlSWQiOiJiYWYwNWU2MzM2Y2YxODVlYTI4NDRlMjQ2MWQwNGY4MCJ9" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">sister initiative to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and other WHO initiatives to support efforts to fight COVID-19 worldwide.

The WHO states that there are five key aspects to the 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).

WHO, Costa Rica, and all other participating countries have also issued a “Solidarity Call to Action” asking all who are capable to join and support the initiative, with recommended actions for key groups, such as governments, research and development funders, researchers, industry, and civil society.

“Global solidarity and collaboration are essential to overcoming COVID-19,” says WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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

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