WHO and Switzerland strengthen partnership for global BioHub System

The Government of Switzerland and the World Health Organization (WHO) have extended their partnership on the WHO BioHub System for a further three years. Launched in November 2020, the WHO BioHub is a system for the global, voluntary rapid sharing of biological materials with epidemic or pandemic potential.

Founded in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and developed step-by-step during its pilot-testing phase, with regular briefings and input from Member States, the WHO BioHub System aims to create a fast and reliable system for sharing materials that could cause epidemics or pandemics. This will allow for quicker development of lifesaving tools like diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

Since its launch, several milestones have been achieved, including the establishment of the first WHO BioHub Facility at the Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland in May 2021. This facility handles the safe analysis and distribution of biological materials. Other achievements include the development of standardized documentation and tools to support rapid operations and the enhancement of specialized laboratory networks.

The WHO BioHub Facility in Spiez houses variants of SARS-CoV-2 and mpox specimens, and it will soon welcome new pathogens in its maximum containment facility. The continuation of this collaboration is a step toward the effective functioning and further development of the WHO BioHub System, thereby enhancing global health security.

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