The UIC ICBG (University of Illinois at Chicago International Cooperative Biodiversity Group) Memorandum of Agreement: a model of benefit-sharing arrangement in natural products drug discovery and development

J Nat Prod. 2004 Feb;67(2):294-9. doi: 10.1021/np0304363.


The Convention on Biodiversity mandates a new approach to the discovery of natural product drugs, one that incorporates concepts of national ownership of genetic resources, intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge, and sharing of economic benefits with countries that are the source of new natural products. The International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) program was established to support experimentation in implementation of the Convention through development and execution of international agreements for bioprospecting. The agreement of one such ICBG program, between the University of Illinois at Chicago and institutions in Vietnam and Laos, is presented here. The core elements contained in the single, five-way Memorandum of Agreement are the arrangements for intellectual property rights, treatment of informed consent, and plans for benefit-sharing (including the sharing of short- and long-term royalty benefits, capacity building, and community reciprocity). Program participants were able to develop a practical and flexible agreement that satisfies the wishes of all institutions that are parties to it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Biodiversity
  • Biological Products*
  • Chicago
  • Drug Industry* / economics
  • Drug Industry* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Drug Industry* / standards
  • International Cooperation*
  • Latin America
  • Madagascar
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Pharmacognosy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Universities
  • Vietnam


  • Biological Products