Decision to extend IP waiver raises concerns

AusBiotech is supporting global advocacy efforts as the World Trade Organization considers extending its agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights to therapeutics and vaccines.

AusBiotech’s position is that, while strongly in favor of equitable access to medicines worldwide, these waivers will not allow it – as evidenced by the vaccine waiver that was passed.

Dr. Damian Slizys, Director of Intellectual Property at Telix Pharmaceuticals, authored “The role of patents in drug development” for the latest edition of the journal Australasian Biotechnology (page 54) in conjunction with AusBiotech and its IP Advisory Group . Dr. Slizys responded to changes to the international TRIPS Agreement waiver for intellectual property rights, which Telix said revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of intellectual property.

Widening the intellectual property waiver also poses risks to Australia’s homegrown innovation and jobs – including the hundreds of SMEs developing health technologies – and their ability to compete globally. .

This deal has the potential to affect and harm smaller biotech companies the most, as SMEs account for 307 of the 357 COVID-19 therapies in development (86%), and most of these therapies potentially have other indications, what the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) described in a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden that “may be their only path to financial sustainability and sustained investment to fund future R&D initiatives.”

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), which is responsible for representing research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world, has launched a digital social media campaign on the value of intellectual property. The hashtag – #IPMakesItHappen – coincided with the WIPO Standing Committee on Patents (September 26-30, 2022) and the WTO Forum (September 27-30, 2022). IFPMA has brought together its online community to explain and show how intellectual property enables breakthroughs and it can also demonstrate to countries that support innovation that the industry is working hard to fly the flag.

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