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Spanish researchers open up Covid antibody tests tech

Spanish National Research Council

GENEVA: Spain’s top research institution reached a licensing deal that paves the way for its Covid-19 antibody test to be produced more cheaply in developing countries.

The World Health Organization described the accord as the first transparent, global, non-exclusive licence for a Covid-19 health tool that will help correct “devastating global inequity”.

The deal brings together the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the global Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the WHO’s Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) knowledge-sharing platform.

“The aim of the licence is to facilitate the rapid manufacture and commercialisation of CSIC’s Covid-19 serological test worldwide,” the WHO said.

The test effectively detects anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies developed in response to either a Covid-19 infection or a vaccine.

CSIC, one of Europe’s main public research institutions, will provide the MPP or prospective licensees with know-how and training.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the licence, which will be royalty-free for low- and middle-income countries, as “the kind of open and transparent licence we need to move the needle on access during and after the pandemic.”

He added: “I urge developers of Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to follow this example and turn the tide… on the devastating global inequity this pandemic has spotlighted.”

C-TAP was founded in May 2020 as a platform for developers of Covid-19 treatments, tests and vaccines and other health products to share intellectual property, knowledge and data.

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