Sharing benefits

 
Published: Monday 30 September 1996

notwithstanding bickerings on intellectual property rights, India and the us may allow mutual patenting of vaccines and diagnostic kits developed under the Indo- us vaccine action programme ( vap ). Reportedly, the two countries are eager to exploit the benefits of a successful scientific programme even though political differences on patent-related issues persist. A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has already filed a us patent for two strains of candidate vaccines for roto virus diarrhoea.

Two rounds of talks have been held since early this year on the specific issue of patenting vaccines, diagnostic kits and microbes. The talks centred on chalking out ways to reconcile the opposing patent regimes in both countries to derive mutual commercial benefits from the vap . According to official sources, a deal is likely to be signed between the two in the next round of talks scheduled to be held in the next three months. Under the proposed agreement, the us would provide funds and technical know-how, whereas the scientific research would be conducted in India.

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