Intellectual property rights (IPR)

When MMV enters into contractual relationships with partners, our primary goal is social responsibility. This means that we encourage our partners to work with us to ensure that the effective and high quality malaria drugs that we develop and launch will be accessible to those most in need in malaria-endemic countries.

We ensure first and foremost that our agreements meet our public health mission. While we understand academia and the private industry’s need to protect their intellectual property rights, we endeavour to negotiate for our new medicines to be made available at an affordable price – typically with no profit and no loss – through public sector channels. 

To achieve this, MMV must retain the rights to any intellectual property rights (IPR) that will be essential in allowing us to develop and launch drugs for the benefit of our target patient group. The following principles are applicable to all MMV contracts:

Exclusivity: If MMV does not own the necessary IPR outright, it would insist on being granted an exclusive license to use the ‘programme IPR’ and any necessary ‘background IPR’ to develop a drug for malaria and bring it to market. That license should be worldwide, to ensure maximum flexibility for later-stage activities such as manufacturing and distribution.

Royalty-free: Any such licenses are preferably royalty-free, at least in malaria-endemic countries, to help keep costs to a minimum and ensure that the drug will be sold at the lowest price possible in these countries.

Transferable: Moreover, MMV does not conduct any R&D in-house or any manufacturing and, therefore, requires IP rights that can be transferred to other partners – especially manufacturing partners - if necessary.

→ Read more on this topic in an article published in WIPO Magazine: The role of intellectual property in the battle against malaria