WHO to offer COVID-19 tools to ‘everyone, everywhere’

The global organization has signed three new licensing agreements to bring resources to fight COVID-19 around the world.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Representational image of COVID-19 vaccines.jpg
Representational image of COVID-19 vaccines.


In May of 2020, the WHO and the Government of Costa Rica with the support of 44 Member States, UN Development Programme, Unitaid, UNAIDS, launched the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP). The initiative was a multi-stakeholder partnership to facilitate sharing of intellectual property (IP), knowledge and innovations related to fighting the virus.

Three new licensing agreements

Now, C-TAP has signed three new licensing agreements that aim to offer COVID-19 tools to citizens around the world. The deals are facilitated by Medicines Patent Pool (MPP),a United Nations-backed public health organization working to increase access to and facilitate the development of life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries. 

This is according to a press release by the WHO published this week.

“COVID-19 is here to stay, and the world will continue to need tools to prevent it, test for it and treat it,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Through C-TAP, WHO and our partners are committed to making those tools accessible to everyone, everywhere. I am grateful to the leadership shown by those license holders who have contributed technology.”

The new agreements will consist of patent and know-how for a COVID-19 vaccine by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp that has seen more than three million doses administered across seven countries, a second license for another COVID-19 vaccine prototype by the Spanish National Research Council and technology for a COVID-19 assay for quantification of neutralizing antibodies by the University of Chile.

A top priority

“Access to essential medicines and health technologies needs to remain a top priority on the global health agenda. We congratulate Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, CSIC and the University of Chile for licensing their products to MPP and hope it will send an important message to other originators around the world to enter into further license agreements under the auspices of C-TAP,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of MPP.

The new agreements are global, transparent and non-exclusive to all manufacturers, and are praised by all parties involved.

"We believe that the most effective response to a pandemic must be rooted in solidarity, cooperation, and collective global effort. By joining the C-TAP initiative, we are providing equitable access to our vaccine technology. It underscores our commitment to ensure that vaccines reach all corners of the globe, leaving no one behind. This is not just about COVID-19, it is about setting a precedent for future global health challenges. By demonstrating our commitment to open science and cooperative strategies. We hope to inspire other organizations to follow suit. To all those that trusted, participated, collaborated, and supported us, thank you! For without you, we could not make this C-TAP initiative possible,” said Charles Chen, CEO of Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp.

The project also targets developing nations, ensuring no one is left out.

“This licensing agreement with C-TAP opens the possibility of finding partners in third countries to advance clinical trials with this vaccine as a future alternative to licensed COVID vaccine options worldwide, especially in resource-poor countries,” said Eloisa del Pino, President of CSIC said