, , ,

Bird flu strain MoU signed

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Not bad, although only an MoU it could be a good start:
Baxter International Inc. on Wednesday said it signed an agreement that could lead to a collaboration with Indonesia on the development of a bird flu vaccine, stirring controversy over the country's recent decision to stop sharing virus samples with the WorldHealthOrganization. It is the first such agreement Indonesia, the country with the most human fatalities from the H5N1 strain of avianinfluenza, has made with a foreign maker of vaccine. The "memorandum of understanding" with the Indonesian government provides "a framework for future discussions" that could lead to a formal supply agreement for pandemic vaccine. Baxter is already landing contracts to help countries, including the United States, stockpile dosages in the event of a pandemic.

An MoU is not yet binding. I wonder what the actual agreement will like. It may be difficult to attach derivative rights to the bird flu strains for financial compensation to Indonesia. If the agreement is like a supply agreement "here, you can have this strain but give us some money" then Indonesia will have no royalty share for each vaccines they create.
Got any other opinion?