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      Challenges and opportunities for enhancing biotechnology and technology transfer in developing countries


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          Biotechnological innovation is gaining increased recognition as an important tool for improving global health. The challenge, however, lies in defining the role of technology transfer to develop therapies for diseases prevalent in developing countries. During the past decade, a large disparity emerged between the developed and developing world in accessing affordable medicines because of the pharmaceutical industry's focus on health areas bearing greatest profits. Discussed herein are several mechanisms that provide partial solutions to this challenge.

          The Office of Technology Transfer of the US National Institutes of Health has increased its technology licensing pertaining to neglected diseases to partners in developing regions. Establishing partnerships through the transfer of technologies and assisting indigenous institutions build R and D capacity may positively impact policies on protection of intellectual property rights and increase multinational company investments in lesser-developed countries. This will most probably result in the development of more accessible therapies for those in need.

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          Most cited references16

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          Drug development for neglected diseases: a deficient market and a public-health policy failure.

          There is a lack of effective, safe, and affordable pharmaceuticals to control infectious diseases that cause high mortality and morbidity among poor people in the developing world. We analysed outcomes of pharmaceutical research and development over the past 25 years, and reviewed current public and private initiatives aimed at correcting the imbalance in research and development that leaves diseases that occur predominantly in the developing world largely unaddressed. We compiled data by searches of Medline and databases of the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products, and reviewed current public and private initiatives through an analysis of recently published studies. We found that, of 1393 new chemical entities marketed between 1975 and 1999, only 16 were for tropical diseases and tuberculosis. There is a 13-fold greater chance of a drug being brought to market for central-nervous-system disorders or cancer than for a neglected disease. The pharmaceutical industry argues that research and development is too costly and risky to invest in low-return neglected diseases, and public and private initiatives have tried to overcome this market limitation through incentive packages and public-private partnerships. The lack of drug research and development for "non-profitable" infectious diseases will require new strategies. No sustainable solution will result for diseases that predominantly affect poor people in the South without the establishment of an international pharmaceutical policy for all neglected diseases. Private-sector research obligations should be explored, and a public-sector not-for-profit research and development capacity promoted.
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            Medicine. The NIH Roadmap.

            E Zerhouni (2003)
            The NIH Roadmap is a set of bold initiatives aimed at accelerating medical research. These initiatives will address challenges that no single NIH institute could tackle alone, but the agency as a whole must undertake. The Roadmap identifies the most compelling opportunities in three arenas: new pathways to discovery, research teams of the future, and reengineering the clinical research enterprise.
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              Idea gaps and object gaps in economic development

              Paul Romer (1993)

                Author and article information

                Biotechnol Adv
                Biotechnol. Adv
                Biotechnology Advances
                Elsevier Science
                10 August 2005
                January-February 2006
                10 August 2005
                : 24
                : 1
                : 69-79
                Office of the Director/Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325 Rockville, MD 20852, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 301 435 5009; fax: +1 301 402 0220. salicrul@ 123456mail.nih.gov

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                : 3 May 2005
                : 20 June 2005

                technology transfer,biomedical innovation,license strategies,developing countries,neglected diseases,capacity building,international partnerships


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