Tech Transfer eNews Blog

WHO launches program to enable lower income regions to produce mRNA vaccines

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 27th, 2023

The mRNA Technology Transfer Program, established by the World Health Organization (WHO), has launched a program to enable low- and middle-income countries to successfully develop and deploy mRNA vaccines.

Backed by the non-profit organization Public Citizen, the program will unite inventors, developers, researchers and experts to establish sustainable mRNA development and manufacturing capabilities in limited-resource regions across Africa, Asia and the Americas. Its goal is to promote health security and autonomy in mRNA vaccine development, production, and distribution to ensure poorer countries are not left at a deadly disadvantage, as they were during the COVID pandemic and AIDS epidemic.

“The lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and preceding HIV crisis have left a lasting impact,” says Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines director. “Uniting from Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, researchers pledged to never again be vulnerable to wealthy nations during a lethal virus outbreak in their regions. These countries recognize the importance of crafting their own solutions and are actively doing so.”

One notable feature of the program is its commitment to knowledge sharing — a departure from the competitive approach that is typical of drug development. “Researchers worldwide are sharing technology and knowledge,” says Maybarduk. “It’s an amazing and heartening program already, and the only question is just how far it can go.”

Source: Public Citizen

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