Gates pushes AIDS data sharing

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Frustrated that over two decades of research have failed to produce an AIDS vaccine, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates is tying his foundation's latest, biggest AIDS-vaccine grants to a radical concept: Those who get the money must first agree to share the results of their work in short order.

Kudos to Bill Gates, perhaps the only person who could make global data-sharing on AIDS research a reality. Data will be shared online in real time. While many will howl at the intellectual property ramifications (which are not trivial), his mandate leaves plenty of room for healthy competition and commercialization of drugs. Researchers can always opt out of Gates funding and keep their data to themselves. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has already indicated that they'll be in the latter group.

Will be interesting to see what people have to say about this the upcoming XVI International AIDS conference in Toronto next week. Check out the Campaign for Fighting Diseases blog for discussion on the event.

Read the WSJ article at YaleGlobal

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