WHO BioHub

News: The World Health Organization (WHO) and Switzerland have signed an MoU to launch a BioHub facility that will allow rapid sharing of pathogens between laboratories and partners to facilitate better analysis and preparedness against them.

WHO BioHub

  • The BioHub will enable member states to share biological materials with and via the BioHub under pre-agreed conditions, including biosafety, biosecurity, and other applicable regulations.
  • The facility will help in the safe reception, sequencing, storage, and preparation of biological materials for distribution to other laboratories, so as to facilitate global preparedness against these pathogens.
  • It would be based in Spiez, Switzerland. Pathogens are presently shared bilaterally between countries: A process that can be sluggish and deny the benefits to some.

Significance:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic and other outbreaks and epidemics have underscored the importance of rapidly sharing pathogens to help the global scientific community assess the risk and develop countermeasures such as diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Pathogens have been shared bilaterally between countries: A process that can be sluggish and deny the benefits to some.
  • This will ensure the timely sharing of epidemiological and clinical data as well as biological materials.
  • The move will help contribute to the establishment of an international exchange system for novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging pathogens.