Info Service on Health Issues
Here is a new TWN Briefing Paper, “Ebola: Company avoids benefit-sharing obligation by using sequences” by Edward Hammond. The paper looks at the case of US pharmaceutical company Regeneron which developed an Ebola drug using the digital sequence information (DSI) of an Ebola virus strain from the clinical sample of a Guinean patient. While Regeneron has patented the drug and secured deals worth over $400 million for it, the company is under no obligation to share the resulting benefits with the country of origin of the virus strain, Guinea. This is because the DSI had been made available online by a research institute with “no strings attached” – highlighting a serious gap in efforts to ensure that the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are equitably shared.
This Briefing Paper is also available on the TWN website at www.twn.my/title2/briefing_papers/No99.pdf
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Third World Network