Harvard University's Office of Technology Development (OTD) and Medicine in Need (MEND) entered into a licensing agreement to bring vaccine and drug products to people in developing countries. Efforts will focus initially on tuberculosis and are expected to expand rapidly to other infectious diseases.
MEND is a nonprofit drug delivery technology platform corporation that reportedly combines compound formulations with low-cost, high-throughput spray drying technologies to turn existing, proven injectable drugs and vaccines into dry powders—enabling effective, safe treatment delivery via pulmonary, oral, and injectable routes.
Under the terms of the agreement, Harvard has granted a royalty-free license to MEND for its work relating to drugs and vaccines geared toward developing countries. MEND is also pursuing commercial markets in the developed world for the sole purpose of supporting its charitable mission.
MEND will pay Harvard a royalty on these revenues, and under a gift-back mechanism, most of these payments will be donated by Harvard back to MEND to support MEND's nonprofit effort to develop advanced treatments and preventative therapies for diseases of poverty.
"The agreement with MEND exemplifies what we, as an office, strive to achieve everyday,” states Isaac T. Kohlberg, chief technology development officer, Harvard University. "We are dedicated to forging relationships with strong, effective partners seeking to develop important therapies and technologies that will alleviate human suffering, improve healthcare, and enhance the quality of life. We are particularly pleased that, through the novel gift-back mechanism that we developed, Harvard will help advance MEND's humanitarian mission and expand access to Harvard technology."