2017: NIH non-response response to KEI and MSF comments on the proposed exclusive license of Zika vaccine patents to PaxVax

(More on government funded inventions here. Other KEI comments on NIH licenses are found here.) On November 30, 2017, KEI has received a response from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases regarding our previous joint comments with MSFon the proposed exclusive… Continue Reading

KEI and Médecins Sans Frontières propose contractual terms to protect access and affordability of Zika vaccine

25 July 2017
CONTACT: Kim Treanor, kim.treanor@keionline.org or +1 (202) 332-2670

Washington, 25 July 2017 – Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have sent a letter today to the Command Judge Advocate of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), recommending two specific contractual terms for the proposed license of the US Army’s Zika vaccine technology to Sanofi Pasteur.

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Six Senators Call on Army to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Exclusive License of Zika Vaccine to Sanofi

Today, six Senators, including Sen. Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Markey (D-MA), Sen. Brown (D-OH), Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME), sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer requesting a public hearing on the proposed exclusive license of a federally-funded Zika vaccine to the French multinational, Sanofi, and saying that “it is imperative that any forthcoming vaccine is accessible and affordable for all, especially given the significant taxpayer investment to date.”

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Florida members in House and Senate Object to Proposed Exclusive License of Zika Vaccine

Yesterday, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer expressing strong concerns regarding the proposed exclusive license of a federally-funded Zika vaccine to Sanofi, stating that, “If the Army chooses to move forward with its plan to provide Sanofi Pasteur an exclusive license to sell this vaccine, it must first obtain assurances that the vaccine will be affordable to all who need it.” Senator Nelson is a senior member of the Committee on the Armed Services.

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Rep. Jan Schakowsky Questions Dr. Anthony Fauci on Zika Vaccine Price at House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Hearing

On May 23, 2017, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., asked Dr. Anthony Fauci whether he believed the federal government should use “every tool” to ensure that Sanofi charges a fair price for a taxpayer-funded Zika vaccine that is being developed by the U.S. Army and funded by BARDA.

Dr. Fauci responded that he did not believe that the government had the “mechanisms” to guarantee an affordable price, even when the U.S. government and taxpayers have made a “major investment” in the development of a drug.

KEI has separately uploaded a short clip of the exchange between Rep. Schakowsky and Dr. Fauci:

Additional information on the Army-BARDA-Sanofi vaccine collaboration is available at /zika and /zika-timeline.

Video of the full hearing and copies of written testimony are available via the House Energy and Commerce Committee website: https://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings-and-votes/hearings/us-public-health-response-zika-virus-continuing-challenges.

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U.S. Army/Sanofi Zika Vaccine Collaboration Timeline and Update

Today I published a timeline on the collaboration between Sanofi and the U.S. Army regarding the development of a vaccine for the Zika virus.

One major issue that we have raised is on the price of the Zika Vaccine. KEI and other groups have asked the Army to ensure that Sanofi does not charge U.S. taxpayers a higher price than in other high-income countries. This is not a remote concern. Recently, we published a blog showing that Sanofi charges Americans four to eight times more for its MS drug Aubagio (teriflunomide) compared to other high-income countries. If Sanofi refuses to agree to a reasonable pricing provision, then we know that Sanofi wants to keep open the option of charging the United States the highest price in the world for a drug funded by American taxpayers.

The timeline provides the dates of several key events, such as the filing of patent applications, the dates of the Army/Sanofi CRADA and grants from BARDA, the signing of the Principles of Collaboration with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the publication of Federal Register notices on the intent of the Army to grant exclusive licenses on patents, responses by patient and public interest groups, the New York Times op-ed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and the response by Dr. Elias Zerhouni on behalf of Sanofi, and the letter from members of the House of Representatives.
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