June 2013
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A Note from Jennifer
Dear WIPO Re:Search Members, 
I am proud to inform you that over 25 agreements have been established between WIPO Re:Search members to date!   The Consortium continues to surpass our partnership objectives to the delight of WIPO, BVGH and our members.  Thank you for your continued support and commitment to explore new partnership opportunities.

This month BVGH has enjoyed visiting our WIPO Re:Search members and neighbors in Seattle.  We are featuring the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) and their impressive new facility along with meetings with leaders at Seattle BioMed and the University of Washington in this issue.


I'm pleased to welcome Katy Graef, our newest team member, to BVGH and WIPO Re:Search.  Katy brings a wealth of infectious diseases knowledge to WIPO Re:Search having completed her post-doc at the National Institutes of Health, PhD in Virology at Oxford and attending the University of Washington as an undergraduate.  Please join me in welcoming Katy if you have not already been in touch with her.


Your comments, ideas and suggestions are always welcome.  Please share this WIPO Re:Search Partnership Hub Snapshot with your colleagues.


 Jennifer Dent

President, BVGH 


CoCCornerstones of Collaboration  

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organized a WIPO Re:Search panel session in New York on April 24th as part of the preparatory process for The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) events. The theme for ECOSOC in 2013 is the role of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development.  Konji Sebati, Director, Department of Traditional Knowledge and Global Challenges at WIPO chaired the session with WIPO Re:Search represented by Roy Waldron, SVP & Associate General Council, Pfizer, Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director at Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Solomon Nwaka, Head, African Network Diagnostic and Drug Innovation (ANDI), World Health Organization. 


WIPO characterized WIPO Re:Search as an outstanding example of how partnerships can create new opportunities and facilitate research to achieve sustainable development goals.

BVGH brought the 13th International Advanced Course on Vaccinology, offered by WIPO Re:Search member, the  International Vaccine Institute (IVI),  to the attention of Drissa Coulibaly from the University of Bamako in Mali.  Drissa was awarded a fellowship to attend the program at IVI's facility in Seoul, South Korea.   The IVI course aims to strengthen the capacity of countries in vaccinology by providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the vaccine continuum, from vaccine development, evaluation and regulatory principles, to production, post-licensure, introduction and policy issues.


Drissa Coulibaly at IVI
"The course gave me the opportunity to meet experts involved in various aspects of vaccinology. The course was exciting, I learned a lot and will share the new knowledge with colleagues and others actors in vaccinology in my country",
Drissa Coulibaly, Mali.


Roopa Ramamoorthi met with Jose Gomez Marquez and Anna Young from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Little Devices Group when they were visiting the Bay Area. They explained their approaches to tap into innovation and understanding of on-the-ground realities in medical and research settings in developing countries to develop products relevant for those countries. BVGH is exploring collaborations for this group around diagnostics applications.


Davinder Gill, CEO of the Merck Hilleman Labs, met with Navin Khanna, Group Leader Recombinant Gene Products Laboratory at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) to discuss potential collaboration around dengue vaccine process development.

Partnership Hub Central

Roopa Ramamoorthi and Katy Graef from BVGH visited the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle to follow-up on a few collaborations in the works and to explore some new partnership opportunities. IDRI established its first WIPO Re:Search collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) in which IDRI is sharing expertise to help the South African MRC and the University of Cape Town develop natural product derived anti-tuberculosis compounds with better solubility and DMPK profiles.  


Joshua Odingo, Director of Chemistry, TB Discovery Group, is leading this collaboration on behalf of IDRI along with Tanya Parish, Vice President Drug Discovery. While touring IDRI's impressive new site in Seattle, Roopa and Katy saw the fermentation, purification and chemistry suites and their robotics platform, which they utilize during their drug screening

BVGH's Roopa (left) and Katy Graef (right) tour IDRI's new facility with
IDRI's Joshua Odingo and Edison Zuniga (center).
 New lab space at IDRI's Seattle location. 


Jennifer Dent, Roopa Ramamoorthi, and Katy Graef from BVGH visited Seattle Biomed to discuss current research there and areas for potential collaborations. Discussions with Ken Stuart, President Emeritus and Founder of Seattle Biomed, included his interest in setting up a collaboration to create a T. cruzi and leishmania knockout system, similar to their T. brucei system.  

 Malcolm Gardner, Full Professor at Seattle Biomed, expressed his interest in accessing P. vivax patient samples, and David Sherman, Full Professor and Program Director at Seattle Biomed, discussed his research examining M. tuberculosis transcription factors.  Following the meeting, Jennifer introduced David to AstraZeneca's tuberculosis group, initiating collaboration discussions.

Seattle Biomed May 2013, Ken Stuard, Malcolm Gardner, David Sherman
Seattle Biomed members (from left to right): Ken Stuart, Malcolm Gardner, and David Sherman.

Jennifer Dent and Katy Graef met with Wes Van Voorhis, Head of the Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division at the University of Washington (UW) and K. K. Ojo, UW Acting Assistant Professor, to get an update on their research programs and follow up on their malaria drug screening partnership with GSK.


Wes spoke about promising new research examining the effects of the groups' bumped kinase inhibitor, 1294, and its efficacy on cryptosporidiosis in a mouse model in A. Clinton White's lab, at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Cryptosporidium therapeutics became even more needed with the recent publication of the GEMS study showing cryptosporidium infection to be highly associated with toddlers who have diarrhea. Wes and K.K. are interested in exploring collaborations to further examine 1294 in cattle and other preclinical studies.

ResReqMember Spotlight      

Sangeeta Bhatia, the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences & Technology, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was featured in the 1 May 2013 issue of The Scientist. The article highlights Sangeeta's pioneering work with cutting-edge miniaturized cell culture for disease-based screening, including work with malaria. The full article can be viewed here.  

NewsWIPO Re:Search in the News
On 17 May 2013, Intellectual Property Watch highlighted WIPO Re:Search and BVGH in an article featuring programs from WIPO intended to address global health and climate change. The coverage was related to a briefing delivered to WIPO's Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) in May.

The full article can be viewed


Research Request

With colleagues at Seattle BioMed and Boston University, David Sherman has used high-throughput chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing (ChIP Seq) to characterize the binding of essentially all 207 transcription factors of M. tuberculosis to the MTB chromosome.   


The team would like to collaborate with other researchers who are interested in applying these data to understand downstream pathways relevant to specific targets.


For more information on these data and/or to pursue a collaboration, please contact Roopa Ramamoorthi. 


HCHighlighted Contributions
Expertise and Knowledge Sharing Related to Point of Care Diagnostics

Professor Axel Scherer leads a laboratory at Caltech that is primarily interested in the design, fabrication, and characterization of nanoscale photonic, magnetic, and fluidic devices and systems. His group has expertise in designing microfluidic systems and electronic and optical sensors for low cost PCR devices for point of care diagnostics. This expertise is applicable to the development of diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases in the developing world.


References: WIPO Re:Search Database entry describing Prof. Scherer's laboratories research Link 


Caltech News Article (2/25/2013) Disease Diagnosis at the Touch of a Button Link to article 


For more information or to discuss potential collaborations around this technology,  

please contact Roopa Ramamoorthi.  

Upcoming Global Health Events


Event Title


Web Link

  20-21 June
 Seattle Parasitology Conference (hosted by Seattle BioMed)
Seattle, WA


21-26 July
 Gordon Conference: Tuberculosis Drug Development

Lucca (Barga), Italy 


4-9 August
 Gordon Conference: Malaria -- Molecular and Cellular Biology
Lucca (Barga), Italy





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Do you have a Research Request to highlight in the Snapshot?

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