Emerging and resurgent arboviral diseases are a major public health problem for developing countries, particularly in Latin America and Africa, for the severity of their symptoms and lethality. Vaccines are recognized as the most powerful preventive, low-risk and cost-effective interventions. For this reason, vaccines against these arboviral diseases could have an extensive impact on global health. Nevertheless, many gaps persist in innovation and technological development of these vaccines and it is necessary and urgent to accelerate new funding mechanisms and incentives, such as “patent pools”, with active participation of manufacturers in developing countries, to assure their cost-effectiveness, efficacy and minimize their potential adverse effects. In this global scenario, intellectual property, especially patents documents, have emerged as a crucial issue for vaccine development. The global patent landscape for vaccines against these four arboviral diseases has undergone drastic changes in the past 5 years, with breakthroughs resulting from advances in molecular biology and genetic engineering: DNA vaccines, recombinant vaccines based on antigens expressed in vectors (viral, bacterial, yeast) and vaccines obtained through reverse vaccinology, with the selection of potential candidates at the genetic level rather than the protein level. Our main aim is to transcend the conventional debate on vaccine development and ethical, regulatory and policy issues, already explored in many scientific publications in the past three decades and determine which of these issues should be considered new and specific to this new perspective. Finally, an adequate use of patent documents, as indicated here, can be a valuable source of information, supporting technological prospect tools in more effective knowledge governance strategies.
Author(s): Cristina Possas, Adelaide M. S. Antunes, Flavia M. L. Mendes, Reinaldo M. Martins, Akira Homma
Organization(s): Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI)
Source: Intellectual Property Issues in Microbiology (pp 337-352)