OTT Grants First License Into New Patent Pool For AIDS Drugs In Developing Countries

The NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) has announced the licensing of US government-owned patents to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) as a contribution to a voluntary patent pool for antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) designed to facilitate access to HIV treatment in developing countries. This license makes the NIH the first contributor to the Medicines Patent Pool which promises to enhance access to anti-retroviral treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries and enable the development of new combinations of ARVs and adapted formulations for developing countries.

The first license agreement between the NIH OTT and the MPP relates to patents on protease inhibitors for the treatment of HIV. The licensed patents resulted from research undertaken by the NIH and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The license is seen as a first step for an expected ongoing collaboration as the OTT and the MPP consider additional potential license agreements to add other NIH or FDA patents to the pool for technologies that may have potential as new HIV therapeutics.

The full text of the press release announcement can be found here. (August 2012 update: This press release is no longer accessible.)

Other entities have also issued related announcements; links to these are provided below:
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (en Français) (August 2012 update: This announcement is no longer accessible.)