Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom announced May 15 that a voluntary intellectual pool for COVID-19 is set to be launched May 29. A “Call for Solidarity in Action” is also to be published on the WHO website on that day, so that governments, companies and other institutions can sign up to back the initiative.
The platform will consist of voluntary contributions of knowledge, information and intellectual property from companies and countries on tools to combat COVID-19. For example, Alvarado said the mechanism seeks to ensure that publicly funded research results are available under legally-binding agreements.
He also called on holders of intellectual property rights in diagnostics and vaccines to voluntarily grant urgent non-exclusive licenses of those rights to UNITAID’s Drug Patent Fund, or other global access to drugs initiatives.