WHO launches COVID-19 open tech initiative

The WHO today announces the launch of the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), a global open collaboration in the fight against COVID-19. It’s aim is to make vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.

“The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool will ensure the latest and best science benefits all of humanity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica, who first proposed the Pool in March. “Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods.”

The goal is to accelerate the discovery of vaccines, medicines and other technologies through open-science research, and to fast-track product development by increasing manufacturing capacity. This will help ensure faster and more equitable access to both existing and new COVID-19 health products. There are five key elements to the initiative:

  • Public disclosure of gene sequences and data
  • Transparency around the publication of all clinical trial results
  • Equitable distribution, affordability and publication of trial data
  • Licensing any potential treatment, diagnostic, vaccine or other health technology to the Medicines Patent Pool, for the benefit of low- and middle-income countries
  • Promotion of open innovation models and technology transfer

“Global solidarity and collaboration are essential to overcoming COVID-19,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Based on strong science and open collaboration, this information-sharing platform will help provide equitable access to life-saving technologies around the world.”

The collaboration between thirty countries and multiple international partners and institutions. Signatories to the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool so far include Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Sudan, The Netherlands, Timor-Leste, and Uruguay.