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No restrictions for public health research into MERS coronavirus

The Viroscience Department of Erasmus MC strongly refutes all allegations concerning a presumed lack of willingness to cooperate in research into the new MERS coronavirus.

CoronavirusThe virus has already been sent free of charge to many public research and health institutions that can work with it safely and, like the Viroscience department, serve public health worldwide.

Rumours
It should be clear that a virus cannot be patented, only specific applications related to it, like vaccines and medicines. Rumours that the Viroscience department of Erasmus MC would hamper research into the MERS coronavirus are clearly wrong and not based on facts.

Transmissible
Erasmus MC was the first to identify the new coronavirus (MERS coronavirus). To date, more than 44 people have been infected with MERS coronavirus worldwide, 22 of whom have died. The virus could develop into a major public health threat if the new coronavirus becomes efficiently transmissible from  human-to-human. Therefore a major research effort into MERS coronavirus and its properties is urgently needed.

Shipment
It is clear that all research institutions worldwide that want to carry out such research will receive the virus free of charge from Erasmus MC. For shipment of the virus it is mandatory that a material transfer agreement (MTA) is signed by the recipient institution, as is common practice when shipping viruses.

For more information, read the full press release.

Date published: 24 May 2013.

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