Henceforth, in developing countries where Nutriset and the IRD have registered a patent, local companies will be able to obtain a “Patent Usage Agreement” in just a few clicks. This agreement will enable them to use the patent to develop and market their own products with humanitarian aid organizations.
This simplified mechanism is consistent with the mutual objective of Nutriset and the IRD of strengthening the nutritional autonomy of countries and populations affected by malnutrition.
The original Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), Plumpy’Nut®, developed in 1996, is the result of joint research conducted by Michel Lescanne, founder of Nutriset, and André Briend, a doctor and nutritionist conducting research at the IRD. “Our aim was to make the management of severe acute malnutrition easier, more efficient and accessible to a greater number of children” recalls Michel Lescanne. “We also wanted it to be possible to produce our product in developing countries with initial local production experiments conducted as early as 1997.”
Derived from this innovation, Nutriset developed a range of products for the prevention or treatment of different forms of malnutrition: Plumpy'Sup™, Plumpy’Doz™, Plumpy’Soy™, Enov'Nutributter®, QBmix®, etc. The Plumpy® range products are currently massively used by humanitarian organisations and health ministries that aid populations affected by malnutrition. Since their development, it is estimated nearly 7 million children benefitted from the Plumpy® range products.
At the same time Nutriset initiated a network of producers located close to needs, supplying already more than 30% of Plumpy’Nut® used to treat severe acute malnutrition. “Created in 2005, the PlumpyField® network now counts 11 producers and should be manufacturing more than half the Plumpy® range by 2014” specifies Michel Lescanne. In 2010, the cumulative production capacity of Nutriset and network members already reached 55,000 tons per year, while demand remains below 30,000 tons.
The online Patent Usage Agreement announced today will accelerate the availability of innovative and effective products in the fight against malnutrition and will promote the economic development of African countries. The IRD invites beneficiaries of the agreement to contribute 1% of their turnover each year. The revenues resulting from these agreements will be entirely used to implement the IRD’s research actions in favour of Southern Countries for the development of the solutions and products of the future. “At the same time the IRD will keep investing several tens of millions of euros each year, encouraging the emergence and reinforcement on location of new research teams or developing innovative technologies and responsible partnerships that systematically associate the economic players of the South”, underscores Michel Laurent, chairman of the Institute.
Nutriset requests no financial compensation for this license deeming that its research will be paid for through the sale of its products.
Each day, Nutriset and the IRD contribute to the nutritional independence of vulnerable countries and populations.