The market for pharmaceutical patents is a growing economic sector that has been drawing our attention here at IPWatchdog in the early months of 2015. Recently, we took a look at a trio of companies identified by Moody’s Investors Service as having a high risk of exposure to patent expirations: Merck, Eli Lilly and Pfizer. We’re returning to the pharmaceutical industry to take a look at three more companies, this time companies identified by Moody’s “Global Pharmaceutical Snapshot” as having stronger new drug pipelines since the bond credit rating firm’s last snapshot of the pharmaceutical industry was released in mid-2013. Today, we focus on a trio of pharmaceutical manufacturers and some of the patents protecting their strengthened research and development pipeline: Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and Amgen.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Works to Fight HIV and Hepatitis C
There’s been a lot of positive activity in recent months for Bristol-Myers Squibb of New York City. In early March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of BMS’s immunotherapy drug Opvido for the treatment of lung cancer. The approval came ahead of schedule after a clinical trial of the drug was ended due to a significant improval in survival rates. In the early days of April, the company announced a partnership with Dutch-based pharmaceutical developer uniQure that will see BMS pay uniQure $254 million for the successful development of a genetic therapy for congestive heart failure. Also in early April, BMS finalized the acquisition of Flexus Biosciences, a California firm focused on developing anti-cancer therapeutics.
The analysis provided to us by Innography’s patent portfolio tools shows us that Bristol-Myers Squibb obtained 109 patents over the course of the last year, going back to early April 2014. We noted a number of patents protecting treatments for patients who have contracted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). One pharmaceutical product designed to inhibit the maturation cycle of HIV-1, which had infected up to 50 million people globally by 2010, is the subject of U.S. Patent No. 8906889, entitled C-3 Cycloalkenyl Triterpenoids with HIV Maturation Inhibitory Activity. It protects a compound that has drug and bio-affecting properties which provide unique antiviral activity. The innovative treatment disrupts the maturation period of the life cycle for HIV-1, preventing subsequent HIV infection cycles. The prevention of HIV replication within the human body is also the focus of U.S. Patent No. 8906929, which is titled Inhibitors of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication. The pharmaceutical compound protected here works to inhibit HIV integrase and is intended to increase the effectiveness of a combination regimen of HIV inhibitors.
Our investigation of recent additions to various pharmaceutical IP portfolios is showing us a great deal of focus on hepatitis C treatments among many companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb. U.S. Patent No. 8987264, titled 1,3,5-Triazine Derivatives of Spiro Bicyclic Oxalamide-Compounds for Treatment of Hepatitis C, protects a pharmaceutical compound that has been shown to possess activity against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) which affects an estimated 170 million people around the world. The treatment was also developed to have more bioavailability and solubility than conventional HCV treatments. We also noted a targeted treatment for encouraging the development of muscle mass in patients suffering from various wasting diseases discussed within U.S. Patent No. 8933199, titled Fibronectin Based Scaffold Domain Proteins that Bind to Myostatin. The patent protects a polypeptide with a fibronectin type III domain which binds to myostatin and antagonizes that secreted growth factor. The inhibition of myostatin is linked to the increase of skeletal muscle mass and strength and could be useful for the treatment of muscular dystrophy or type II diabetes.
AstraZeneca Treats a Wide Spectrum of Ailments Affecting the Lungs, Eyes and Central Nervous System
Headquartered in London, AstraZeneca manufactures a range of pharmaceutical products which are designed to treat cancers, infections, cardiovascular disorders and more. A couple of patent expirations in recent years have hurt this company’s profits but the latest Moody’s report indicates that the future should be a bit brighter for this firm. In early April, AstraZeneca was successful in suing Apotex Corp. in a federal district court for a total approaching $76 million for infringing on two of AstraZeneca’s patents related to Prilosec. Over the past year, the company added 109 U.S. patents to its intellectual property portfolio, according to Innography.
A couple of the patents recently issued to AstraZeneca in recent months by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office focus squarely on medical issues involving or related to diabetes. One of those is U.S. Patent No. 8883743, titled Methods for Treating Obesity Employing an SGLT2 Inhibitor. It claims a method for treating obesity in a patient by administering an effective amount of an SGLT2 inhibitor, which can improve insulin response to glycemia. This improved glycemic regulation normalizes plasma glucose by enhancing the excretion of glucose in the urine, delaying the development of complications from diabetes. Symptom reduction is another focus area for AstraZeneca to judge by U.S. Patent No. 8895570, issued under the title Purine Derivatives. It claims a compound that can be administered therapeutically to serve as an agonist for toll-like receptor-7 (TLR-7), which modulate an immune response and can be the cause of undesirable flu-like symptoms. This TLR-7 agonist could be beneficial as part of a treatment for various medical conditions, from cancers to asthma to eye disorders.
A pharmaceutical treatment that can be used to address a wide range of medical conditions involving the lungs is disclosed and protected by U.S. Patent No. 8889692, titled Pyrazinone Derivatives, Pharmaceutically Acceptance Salts Thereof and Their Uses. The compound of this invention is formulated to allow the local administration of pharmaceutical agents directly to the lung. The invention was pursued to enable more effective treatments for conditions of the lung including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
There’s been a lot of research activity centered on the role of amyloid beta peptides in neurological disorders and AstraZeneca has moved further into that field with the issue of U.S. Patent No. 9000185, entitled Cycloalkyl Ether Compounds and Their Use as BACE Inhibitors. It claims a cycloalkyl ether compound that can be administered to patients suffering from a wide range of amyloid beta-related pathologies, including Down’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions. This drug reduces amyloid beta levels in a subject’s brain by inhibiting beta site APP cleaving enzyme (BACE) that aids in the generation of amyloid beta peptide.
AmGen Develops Alternative Pharmaceutical Carriers and Cancer Treatments
AmGen is a biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Thousand Oaks, CA, and is known for a lineup of autoimmune and infection treatments. The company’s $9.7 billion purchase of Onyx Pharmaceuticals in 2013 improved the company’s drug pipeline by adding Kyprolis, a treatment for multiple myeloma that may become FDA-approved in July following successful clinical trials. AmGen has been hurt in recent months by the approval of biosimilar medicines by the FDA, mainly where Neupogen, AmGen’s drug for preventing infection in cancer patients, is concerned. The first biosimilar approval, in a process made legal by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, was issued by the FDA to Sandoz so the latter could market a biosimilar version of Neupogen. Sandoz and AmGen have been involved in patent-related litigation in the past. AmGen recently lost on a motion filed to block the sale of Zarxio, another Neupogen biosimilar developed by Novartis, which is likely to become the first biosimilar on the U.S. market. According to Innography, AmGen obtained 103 U.S. patents over the last 12 months.
Cancer treatment is a focal area of research for many of the pharmaceutical firms we’ve been researching lately, and AmGen is no different. U.S. Patent No. 8921367, which is titled Use of AMG 900 for the Treatment of Cancer, protects a method of treating cancer in a human by administering an oral dosage regimen of AMG 900 for four to seven consecutive days at a dosage level ranging from one milligram to about 80 mg. This specific dosing regimen for cancer patients brought about surprising and unexpected positive results in patients and the optimal dosing could lead to cost savings and improved quality of life in patients. The protection of untransformed cells to reduce the progression of cancer is the subject of U.S. Patent No. 8980903, which is titled Fused Pyridine, Pyrimidine and Triazine Compounds as Cell Cycle Inhibitors. The compound composed of fused pyridine, pyrimidine and triazine derivatives protected by this patent is useful for the selective inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk). The treatment can be applied to patients suffering from a variety of cancers as well as other proliferative diseases, including HIV or psoriasis.
Amgen is also focused on the development of more effective pharmaceutical delivery systems for a variety of treatments, as is reflected by U.S. Patent No. 8993727, which is titled Carrier Immunoglobulins and Uses Thereof. This patent discloses an isolated immunoglobulin with both a heavy chain variable region and a light chain variable region which can comprise up to 24 pharmacologically-active chemical moieties. The invention results in an immunoglobulin with exceptional uniformity of recombinant expression and good pharmacokinetic properties.
Finally, we found an interesting AmGen pharmaceutical product designed to address both obesity and neurologic disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder or schizophrenia. U.S. Patent No. 8952037, which is titled Heteroaryloxycarbocyclyl Compounds as PDE10 Inhibitors, claims a compound containing heteroaryloxycarbocyclyl for the inhibition of phosphodiesterase-10 (PDE10), a cyclic nucleotide found primarily in the basal ganglia of a patient’s brain. Inhibiting PDE10 has been linked to an increase in the levels of cyclic nucleotide monophosphates like cAMP or cGMP and can be used to treat conditions related to the neuropsychiatric conditions of the basal ganglia.