The GHIAA mission is to be an independent resource, curator, interdisciplinary think tank and consultant for best and alternative tools, practices and agreement provisions for global health alliance formation. We are developing an international center for research, training, education, advocacy and support, dedicated to improving the health of the world's communities through development alliance formation. We seek to engage academia, governmental, business and nonprofit organizations in this collaborative effort.
Increase knowledge and tools to translate global health policies for actionable agreement provisions, as well as to socialize the options for funders and partners. Assemble, analyze, educate on and increase the availability and transparency of these provisions and sample agreements, and other legal and policy tools for the development and distribution of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and adjunctive technologies to treat infectious disease outbreaks, neglected and chronic diseases. We will continue to expand our Master Alliance Provision Guide to share evolving agreement terms and accepted practices and continue to provide and develop tools as an independent source for current and best practices. Our goals are to provide:
1. Value for the scientific community by shortening the time from innovation to patient
2. Value for the global health community by providing transparency on provisions used in the formation of alliances
3. Value for our members in providing a shared forum for discussion, education and policy development
Following the Ebola outbreak of 2014, government and industry players mobilized resources and funding to develop a vaccine. Such a rapid response was significant given the high cost threshold for R&D and lengthy timeline for therapeutic development. Consequently, GHIA began to research this phenomenon, mapping the partnerships that were formed in real-time between the public, private, and nonprofit sector in response to the spread of Ebola. As the outbreak evolved, GHIA worked to understand the unifying factors that brought players together and the roadblocks that they faced.
Over the following year, GHIA interviewed numerous representatives from each partner organization. This investigation illustrated the diversity of players involved in vaccine development. Innovators hailed from an array of research backgrounds, including private companies (small and large), academic institutions, and federal agencies. Discussions revealed that stakeholders were motivated by the public health imperative of EIDs, but were challenged by the dearth of financial support for R&D. Individual organizations typically take 10-15 years to fully develop a drug; a timeframe that was insufficient given the swift spread of Ebola throughout Africa. Players attempted to streamline the R&D process by forming alliances to share costs and resources. This unprecedented effort produced tangible success, with the first clinical trials set to begin after a mere eight months. However, the remarkable progress of stakeholders was hindered by a lack of legal clarity regarding alliance structures, technology transfer, and data sharing. Clinical trials were first delayed and then rendered insignificant as the patient population diminished.
The Ebola outbreak exposed significant gaps in pandemic preparedness, and highlighted the need for collaborative investment in R&D for future outbreaks. Conversations with players revealed a desire for legal tools to facilitate alliance formation. Using samples of agreements and contracts from representative organizations, GHIA worked to develop templates for licensing intellectual property (IP) in order to expedite multi-stakeholder negotiations. The first model agreements were presented in November of 2015 to key members of the Ebola consortia, who were gathered by GHIA for a workshop on pandemic preparedness in Washington, D.C. Draft templates were positively received by workshop participants, who also provided GHIA with important perspective about how the needs and wants of individual players differed based on their context. Members pledged to continue sharing existing provisions and agreements so that GHIA could build a glossary of licensing terms and expand its chart of EID provisions. In late 2015, GHIA was invited to work on the WHO’s Pandemic Preparedness Initiative, and began developing a database of pathogens and partners to facilitate alliance formation for future epidemics.
Players from the Ebola outbreak were reconvened for a symposium to discuss lessons learned and frame the discussion for potential pandemics. Yet the recent outbreak of the Zika virus demonstrates that EIDs are a global threat for the present that cannot be relegated to the future. This has renewed the urgency of GHIA’s research, with the first comprehensive alliance maps and pathogen charts debuted at the 2016 Symposium. These discussions continue to guide GHIA’s efforts to develop educational tools and resources for R&D partnerships.