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MIT and South African research agency dive into industry patent pool

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency have joined a patent pool founded by pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline. Participants in the pool agree to share patents that facilitate research into the tropical diseases that plague the developing world, including malaria and leishmaniasis.

GSK announced the Pool for Open Innovation in February 2009, as part of the company’s larger plan to aid the developing world. Since then, the pool has won over only one other company: Alnylam, a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT and the Technology Innovation Agency announced their participation in the pool at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) annual meeting in Chicago yesterday.

There are now 2,300 patents in the pool, up from about 800 roughly a year ago.


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