Penns Innovations and the Global Poor Facilitating Access

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Penn’s Innovations and the Global Poor Facilitating Access to Medicines in Developing Countries Universities

Penn’s Innovations and the Global Poor Facilitating Access to Medicines in Developing Countries Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine ● Abstract ○ ● The Case for University Action ○ ● Transforming Passion into Action ○ Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is a national student advocacy group at about 25 research universities across North America. Chapters are united by a common goal of improving access to medicines in poor countries through university action. This goal has been operationalized through a two-fold mission: 1) to determine how universities can help ensure that biomedical end products, such as drugs, are made more accessible in poor countries; and 2) to promote research on neglected diseases. The University of Pennsylvania is in a unique position to serve as a trailblazer in addressing one of the most challenging humanitarian crises of our time. Penn’s extensive research activities, with an annual research budget of over $750 million, suggest a great potential for making globally relevant discovery. Secondly, the university has an avowed commitment to advancing global health. The Penn chapter’s advocacy efforts have implemented a triphasic approach of self-education, collaboration, and open discussion in attempts to implement meaningful change. If adopted, Penn will be at the forefront of a national movement to develop more socially -conscious university licensing policy. Universities play a substantial and increasingly critical role in drug development: Engaging the Students African Trypansomiasis, commonly referred to as sleeping sickness, kills up to 500, 000 people annually in Africa (WHO 2005). § Rapid increase in patenting and commercialization § Major players in the biopharmaceutical arena, holding key patents on drugs critical to the treatment of AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, anemia, and infection While the ultimate solution is likely to require collective action, Penn is well-situated to be a leader in ensuring that its pioneering discoveries reach those who need it most. Examples of disclosures currently available from the Penn Center for Technology Transfer: Penn researcher Dr. Mark Greene’s research underlies a first-line monoclonal antibody treatment for HER 2 -positive metastatic breast cancer marketed by Genentech. Disclosure Title E 963 Treatment and Prevention of P. falciparum Malaria F 1088 Irreversible HIV 1 Protease Inhibitor P 3070 Novel HIVs useful in Vaccine Development and HIV Drug Design G 1118 Monoclonal Antibody Vaccines Ongoing member recruitment and a teach-in sponsored by the Penn AMSA chapter has led to active engagement of the undergraduate, law school, nursing, and Wharton students. Engaging the Faculty and Administration Penn UAEM members have met with over thirty faculty members in efforts to seek support and guidance. Thus far, fifteen have pledged their support via signed letters. Dr. Art Caplan | Director, Center for Bioethics Dr. Garret Fitz. Gerald | Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Dr. James Hoxie | Director, Penn Center for AIDS Research Dr. Robert Doms | Chair, Department of Microbiology Dr. Mark Greene | John Eckman Professor of Medical Sciences Dr. Gary Koretzky | Leonard Jarett Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Dr. David Roos | Merriam Professor of Biology and Director, Genomics Institute Dr. Fred Frankel | Professor of Microbiology Dr. Martin Carroll | Assistant Professor of Medicine Dr. Yvonne Paterson | Professor of Microbiology Furthermore, UAEM’s proposals are well aligned with Penn’s stated goal of becoming a more globally engaged university. ● Significance & Impact ○ Approximately ten million people die each year because they lack access to existing medicines and vaccines. The access gap stems from 1) inadequate health care delivery systems; 2) insufficient public financing for health care; and 3) high prices for medicines. § Conduct more than half of U. S. basic science research Penn medical students attended the national UAEM teach-in in Washington D. C. Resolutions in support of UAEM proposals were passed by the Medical Student Government, Graduate and Professional Students Association, and Undergraduate Assembly. ● Specific Proposals ○ 1. Penn should adopt licensing provisions that facilitate access to its health-related innovations in poor countries. (WHO 2004) Millions more die from so-called neglected diseases, those diseases predominantly afflicting populations to poor to attract private sector R&D investment. In 2005, ninety percent of research funding targeted only 10 percent of the global disease burden. § UAEM advocates implementing “Equitable Access Licensing, ” which facilitates generic competition in poor countries. Open licensing would be used to allow third party manufacturers to compete in low- and middleincome countries. 2. Penn should promote research on neglected diseases that principally impact the global poor and find ways to work with nontraditional partners that seek to develop medicines for those diseases. § Facilitate partnerships with public-private partnerships § Remove barriers from accepting foundation funding § Monitor university innovations for potential ND application § Lower IP hurdles for the ND research arena Faculty advisors also include Dr. Brian Strom (Director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics) and Dr. Afaf Meleis (Dean of the School of Nursing). A recent roundtable discussion that included Penn’s Vice Provost for Research, top legal experts, and basic scientists led to a consensus to move forward in capitalizing on Penn’s opportunity to enhance access to medicines. Engaging the University An upcoming university-wide forum will feature an interactive panel discussion of humanitarian licensing. The Daily Pennsylvanian is excited to provide media coverage. A White paper describing Penn UAEM policy proposals in detail and assessing potential impact is forthcoming and will be posted on our website. Correspondence to: Amit Khera, [email protected] med. upenn. edu