South Africa’s Technology Innovation agency (TIA) has become the first government agency to join in the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Established in February 2009, The Pool for Open Innovation was established with the mission of motivating innovative and efficient drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and leprosy, among others.

TIA chairperson Dr Mamphela Ramphele said that the Pool for Open Innovation will stimulate, promote and accelerate innovation in tuberculosis, malaria and drug development in South Africa.

“We are proud to be partnering with GSK, Alnylam and BIO Ventures for Global Health and look forward to making real strides in developing new medicines,” Ramphele said.

To date, there are more than 2,300 patents in the pool, which is accessible to industry, non-profit institutions and academic researchers.