VACANCY: SENIOR GLOBAL HEALTH ADVOCATE ON ACCESS TO MEDICINES

“As global health advocate at Wemos you will be part of the Access to Medicines team to realise the operational and policy aims of our Access to Medicines programme. You will build and strengthen coalitions on Access to Medicines, gather relevant knowledge and work to implement an effective advocacy strategy towards (inter)national stakeholders. Your objective? To advocate that everyone, everywhere, has access to high-quality, affordable medicines and other medical products that meet their medical needs….

Health is a human right and commodities like vaccines should be considered a global public good, especially considering the high amount of public money invested in the R&D of the vaccines. We are concerned about the lack of 1) transparency of pricing and R&D costs, 2) conditions for public funding, 3) fair regulations, and 4) cooperation between countries….”

Actives from MMV Open Access Boxes? A suggested way forward

Abstract:  It is estimated that more than 1 billion people across the world are affected by a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that requires medical intervention. These diseases tend to afflict people in areas with high rates of poverty and cost economies billions of dollars every year. Collaborative drug discovery efforts are required to reduce the burden of these diseases in endemic regions. The release of “Open Access Boxes” is an initiative launched by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in collaboration with its partners to catalyze new drug discovery in neglected diseases. These boxes are mainly requested by biology researchers across the globe who may not otherwise have access to compounds to screen nor knowledge of the workflow that needs to be followed after identification of actives from their screening campaigns. Here, we present guidelines on how to move such actives beyond the hit identification stage, to help in capacity strengthening and enable a greater impact of the initiative.

 

 

Principles of open, transparent and reproducible science in author guidelines of sleep research and chronobiology journals

Abstract:  Background: “Open science” is an umbrella term describing various aspects of transparent and open science practices. The adoption of practices at different levels of the scientific process (e.g., individual researchers, laboratories, institutions) has been rapidly changing the scientific research landscape in the past years, but their uptake differs from discipline to discipline. Here, we asked to what extent journals in the field of sleep research and chronobiology encourage or even require following transparent and open science principles in their author guidelines.

Methods: We scored the author guidelines of a comprehensive set of 27 sleep and chronobiology journals, including the major outlets in the field, using the standardised Transparency and Openness (TOP) Factor. The TOP Factor is a quantitative summary of the extent to which journals encourage or require following various aspects of open science, including data citation, data transparency, analysis code transparency, materials transparency, design and analysis guidelines, study pre-registration, analysis plan pre-registration, replication, registered reports, and the use of open science badges.

Results: Across the 27 journals, we find low values on the TOP Factor (median [25 th, 75 th percentile] 3 [1, 3], min. 0, max. 9, out of a total possible score of 29) in sleep research and chronobiology journals.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest an opportunity for sleep research and chronobiology journals to further support recent developments in transparent and open science by implementing transparency and openness principles in their author guidelines.

Inside An Effort To Put Millions Of Biological Specimens Online : Shots – Health News : NPR

“For scientists to pull out detailed information like that, however, they first have to know that a particular specimen even exists. In 2011, the National Science Foundation started handing out grants as part of a ten-year push to bring old-fashioned collections into the Internet age. One of the goals was to put specimen records online and into a searchable portal called iDigBio….

Now, as that program winds down, he and other experts are pondering what needs to happen over the next decade so that biological collections can continue to become more accessible. That’s why the NSF recently asked for some advice from an expert panel convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

One of its recommendations was simple: create a national registry of all collections, so experts know who’s got plants, microbes, or animals of interest.

The U.S. is thought to possess about 1,800 natural history collections, which is about a third of those that exist worldwide. In addition, the country has at least 2,800 “living stock” collections, such as microbe collections, which continually maintain living organisms for research….”

Finding equipoise: CEPI revises its equitable access policy – ScienceDirect

“Both the original policy and the revised one recommended that CEPI not take ownership in IP, particularly with regard to patents….

Awardees may choose to obtain intellectual property rights (such as patents or copyrights) for inventions, research materials, data bases and the like developed using funding from CEPI. If they seek such intellectual property protection, it will be at their own cost and they must promptly notify CEPI….

CEPI has committed to “Open Access” for project data, requiring that any final manuscripts of the research results must be publicly available and published in accordance with globally accepted standards, in particular the principles of “Plan S” (https://www.scienceeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Plan_S.pdf), an initiative developed by Science Europe regarding open access publishing.
CEPI has committed to “Open Data” for project data….”

Addgene: COVID-19 Resources

“The global research community is moving quicky to expand the knowledge and understanding of COVID-19 and related coronaviruses. To assist with this effort Addgene will maintain this plasmid collection page, which outlines various plasmids available and those coming soon. Additionally, we have linked to collections of open-access articles, protocols, and other resource collections related to COVID-19 that may be of use to scientists….”

 

Public Microbial Resource Centers: Key Hubs for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) Microorganisms and Genetic Materials | Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Abstract:  In the context of open science, the availability of research materials is essential for knowledge accumulation and to maximize the impact of scientific research. In microbiology, microbial domain biological resource centers (mBRCs) have long-standing experience in preserving and distributing authenticated microbial strains and genetic materials (e.g., recombinant plasmids and DNA libraries) to support new discoveries and follow-on studies. These culture collections play a central role in the conservation of microbial biodiversity and have expertise in cultivation, characterization, and taxonomy of microorganisms. Information associated with preserved biological resources is recorded in databases and is accessible through online catalogues. Legal expertise developed by mBRCs guarantees end users the traceability and legality of the acquired material, notably with respect to the Nagoya Protocol. However, awareness of the advantages of depositing biological materials in professional repositories remains low, and the necessity of securing strains and genetic resources for future research must be emphasized. This review describes the unique position of mBRCs in microbiology and molecular biology through their history, evolving roles, expertise, services, challenges, and international collaborations. It also calls for an increased deposit of strains and genetic resources, a responsibility shared by scientists, funding agencies, and publishers. Journal policies requesting a deposit during submission of a manuscript represent one of the measures to make more biological materials available to the broader community, hence fully releasing their potential and improving openness and reproducibility in scientific research.