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GSK joins WIPO Re:Search open innovation platform as part of its commitment to tackling diseases of the developing world

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced it has joined WIPO Re:Search as part of its open innovation strategy to help accelerate the development of new and better treatments against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which affect more than a billion people in the world’s poorest countries each year.

WIPO Re:Search is a collaboration of private and public sector organisations sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). By providing a searchable, public database of available compounds, resources, expertise, and knowledge to the global health research community, this new collaboration aims to accelerate R&D into new medicines, vaccine and diagnostics to tackle the 17 NTDs listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) such as dengue, rabies and Chagas disease as well as malaria and tuberculosis.

GSK will contribute patents and patent applications to WIPO Re:Search covering small molecules and formulations directed at developing treatments and delivery technologies for NTDs as well as its full anti-malarial dataset which includes 13,500 compounds which in screening have shown evidence of activity against malaria.

Duncan Learmouth, Senior Vice President, Developing Countries and Market Access operating unit, GSK said: “This new partnership marks an important new step forward in collaboration among these groups to reduce the hurdles to spur innovation, help develop new treatments and make a real difference to people in developing countries. A challenge on this scale requires industry, academia, NGOs and governments to work in partnership to develop new tools and approaches.”

Today’s announcements add to a number of GSK initiatives aimed at reducing the burden of diseases of the developing world, including:

· Tres Cantos Open Lab, where researchers from external organisations and academic centres work in GSK’s dedicated diseases of the developing world drug discovery centre in Spain. So far, eight scientists from six research organisations have worked on projects at the campus. Among the projects underway are research to identify and optimise compounds that could be tested in humans against multi-drug resistant TB, three separate projects into malaria, including one that investigates potential compounds from the GSK chemical library, and a new approach against the parasites that can cause leishmaniasis.

· A dedicated R&D group focused on diseases of the developing world and NTDs including bacterial meningitis, Chagas disease, chlamydia, dengue fever, HIV/AIDS, human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, pandemic flu, pneumococcal disease and TB.

· Investment in vaccine research against diseases of the developing world. GSK has been working on a malaria vaccine for more than two decades. Positive results from the phase III study of GSK’s candidate vaccine, RTS,S, being developed in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), were announced last week.

· The creation of the Developing Countries and Market Access (DCMA) unit in 2010 to expand access to GSK medicines for the approximately 700 million people living in the 48 least developed countries (LDCs), over half of whom survive on less than US$1 a day. In LDCs, GSK caps the prices of GSK patented medicines and vaccines at no more than 25% of developed world prices and reinvests 20% of profits back into projects that strengthen healthcare infrastructure in these countries.

· Donation of over two billion albendazole tablets to the WHO to help stop transmission of lymphatic filariasis in over 50 countries. In 2011, GSK formalised a commitment with WHO to expand its donation of albendazole by an additional 400 million tablets per year to treat school age children at risk of soil-transmitted helminths.

· A long-standing tiered pricing policy for vaccines which enables poorer countries to pay significantly less than higher income countries for the same vaccine with the lowest prices for agencies such as UNICEF which purchase large volumes of vaccines for the world’s poorest children. GSK vaccines are included in immunisation campaigns in 182 countries worldwide and 1.4 billion vaccine doses were delivered in 2010, of which nearly 1 billion were shipped for use in developing countries.

· Vaccine partnerships that help to build local healthcare infrastructure and manufacturing capacity, including technology transfer. As part of an agreement with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) to develop and manufacture vaccines for pressing public health priorities in Brazil, GSK has established an R&D collaboration programme at Fiocruz to develop a vaccine for dengue fever.

For more on GSK’s commitment to the developing world, visit our website http://www.gsk.com/media/developing-world.htm

About the WIPO Re:Search consortium

GSK will become part of WIPO Re:Search, an unprecedented collaboration with representatives in the pharmaceutical industry, multilateral organizations, academia, and non-governmental organizations. Membership in WIPO Re:Search as a user, provider, or supporter is open to all organizations that endorse, adhere to, and support the project’s guiding principles, which can be found on the WIPO Re:Search website: www.wipoReSearch.org. These guiding principles include the commitment that intellectual property licensed via WIPO Re:Search will be made available royalty-free for research and development for neglected tropical diseases in any country and royalty-free for sale or supply of neglected tropical disease medicines or vaccines to Least Developed Countries.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com

Contact:

GSK Global Communications
GlaxoSmithKline | GSK House | 980 Great West Road
Brentford| Middlesex | TW8 9GS UK
T: +44 (0)20 8047 5502
Source: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
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