Topic: “Expanding Global Manufacturing and Research Hubs for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response”.

Session 2: Strengthening Network of Researchers and Manufacturers in LMICs Related to Public Health Emergencies

The Medicines Patent Pool or MPP is a public health organization that works to facilitate affordable access to new health products through licensing and technology transfer

Today, I would like to make three points.

The first point is that during the COVID-19 pandemic we have already set up two networks of manufacturers in LMICs that are working to develop and supply needed medicines and vaccines.

One network is composed of medicines manufacturers that have obtained licences via MPP on the two WHO-recommended antivirals Merck’s molnupiravir and Pfizer’s nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (or Paxlovid). The network is composed of 48 manufacturers from 16 LMICs located in all WHO regions. In addition, we have relationships with many other manufacturers with GMP facilities.

The other network is that of the manufacturers involved in the mRNA Technology Transfer Hub Programme that MPP is co-leading with WHO. The programme aims to develop sustainable and locally-owned manufacturing capacity for mRNA vaccines through transfer of technology. There too, we have companies located in 15 countries across all WHO regions that will be benefitting from technology transfer and will be part of an R&D network.

There are of course also other important networks in place. And we just heard from DCVMN, some of whose members are also part of the mRNA Hub Programme. 

The second point is that while these two networks have been developed in the context of COVID-19, they could be relied upon for future pandemics. These two networks could provide important platforms for IP and technology transfer for the next pandemic. This would make it possible to have geographically spread manufacturing, contributing to supply security and, therefore, to health security.

The third point is that, in a pandemic context, the transfer of IP and technology could be done extremely rapidly. We know there are efforts to enable development of countermeasures for the next pandemic in 100 days, and we recognize the critical role of CEPI. We think that it will be critical to also think about what we do in the subsequent 100 days.  We are convinced, that if we start transferring technology early on, before the product has regulatory approval, it is possible to complete the IP and tech transfer process within another 100 days. In other words, we believe we need another 100-day initiative for the next 100 days.

We therefore would like to call on the G20 to support the further development of these networks to ensure that they are fit for purpose for the next pandemic, as well of course as an enabling environment encompassing regulatory, raw material supply, procurement and incentives for the increased risks of moving very fast.