Placeholder Banner

WTO 13th Ministerial Conference outcome "positive" for IP, future of biotech industry

March 1, 2024
Media Contact

Following the conclusion of the WTO 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, John Murphy -- BIO's Chief Policy Officer -- made the following statement:

“We are encouraged that WTO Members did not agree to extend an intellectual property waiver to Covid-19 therapeutics at the WTO 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi.

“IP is the backbone of innovation in our industry, enabling scientists and researchers to usher in lifesaving and life-enhancing treatments and products to patients. This was especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic, where IP protections helped companies bring novel vaccines and therapies to market in record time.

“Strong IP protections are especially critical for small and medium sized biotech firms. These companies rely on capital funds to drive cutting edge research to address some of the greatest challenges of our time, including food security, climate change, and future pandemics.

“BIO has consistently advocated against efforts from the global community to leverage agendas at multilateral organizations to weaken the global IP framework. As we have warned, doing so would significantly undermine the ability for our companies to raise necessary funds and continue pushing biotech innovation forward.  

“The outcome of the WTO 13th Ministerial Conference was a positive one for the future of our industry. Yet, significant trade barriers remain. We welcome opportunities to work with WTO to address genuine trade barriers to access technologies -- such as export restrictions -- to preserve strong IP protections, encourage innovation, and maintain U.S. leadership in the life sciences.”

Discover More
The White House just announced plans to use Bayh-Dole “march-in rights” to step in and license patent rights of drugs “developed with federal funding” to other manufacturers when the price of the drug is deemed too high. BIO's Chief Advocacy Officer…
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today released its “COVID-19 Diagnostics and Therapeutics: Supply, Demand, and TRIPS Agreement Flexibilities” report. The report aims to analyze various issues and information gaps concerning…
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization appreciates that USDA and the Biden Administration are aiming to increase access to modern, innovative seeds. We are reviewing USDA’s report, “More and Better Choices for Farmers: Promoting Fair Competition…