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Posts Tagged: "bio"

BIO Urges NIST to Continue Successful Public-Private Partnership in Recent Comments

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) recently submitted comments in support of a National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] rulemaking on “Rights to Federally Funded Inventions and Licensing of Government Owned Inventions.” The proposed rule caps a nearly three-year effort by NIST, through engagement with stakeholders, to improve federal technology transfer and the commercialization of federally funded inventions. That effort resulted in a comprehensive Green Paper, “Unleashing American Innovation” in April 2019, which reviewed federal research efforts and made detailed recommendations to maximize the taxpayers’ return on investment.

Industry Groups Urge Quick Passage of Reintroduced IDEA Act

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) yesterday reintroduced the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement Act (IDEA Act), which seeks to direct the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) “to collect demographic data – including gender, race, military or veteran status, and income level, among others – from patent applicants on a voluntary basis.” Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are co-sponsors of the legislation.

Should the Biden Administration Look to Pharma for New USPTO Director?

The United States is not even two weeks into the administration of President Joe Biden and it’s likely that the administration’s selection for Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not become clear for a few months yet. Many members of the U.S. innovation community, however, are well aware of the high stakes in play with that selection. The tenure of outgoing Director Andrei Iancu was lauded across many sectors of the U.S. patent system, perhaps with the exception of the tech sector. As we consider candidates for the next USPTO head, perhaps we should look to the political moment in which we find ourselves to guide our search.  

Panelists Urge Americans to Trust IP, Trust Vaccines, Listen to Science in COVID-19 Debate

IPWatchdog’s most recent webinar focused on the role of IP in the development of the most promising vaccines to combat COVID-19 and included speakers from the medical community, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the biopharmaceutical industry. The upshot was: wear masks, get the vaccine when it’s available to you, trust the FDA, and stop targeting IP rights, since there’s no evidence they have hindered the process and, in fact, IP has so far played a crucial role in collaboration efforts.

Bayh-Dole Rocks While the Critics Play the Same False Note

A just-released study co-sponsored by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and AUTM provides new evidence of the significant contribution academic patent licensing makes to the U.S. economy. The report is the most recent in a series, and the numbers are astounding. This couldn’t come at a better time. Renewed efforts are underway to subvert Bayh-Dole from an engine driving innovation into a weapon for government price controls. Even though the Bush, Obama and Trump Administrations wisely rejected their theories, the critics keep banging the drum, and some in Congress are dancing to their tune.

Athena Diagnostics Amici Warn of Harms to Biotech Revolution Under Current Alice/Mayo Framework

April 22 was the deadline for filing amicus briefs with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Athena Diagnostics’ petition for an en banc rehearing by the court. The petition comes after a 2-1 panel decision in early February affirmed a district court’s ruling that patent claims covering methods of diagnosing myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disorder that causes weakness in skeletal muscles, were directed toward laws of nature and were thus unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In an invitation to file briefs with the Federal Circuit in this case, Knowles IP Strategies Founder Sherry Knowles and AddyHart Partner Meredith Addy discussed the need for amici to hold the Federal Circuit accountable regarding its duty to apply a strict statutory construction of the literal language of Section 101 to ensure that patent eligibility cases are decided in a way that is consistent with Constitutional statutes. Knowles and Addy filed a brief on behalf of Freenome Holdings and Achillon Pharmaceuticals (discussed below). Theirs and other briefs that have now been filed raise concerns about the inability to patent life-saving diagnostic methods that are found ineligible under Section 101 using the Alice/Mayo framework simply because the invention or discovery involves monitoring natural processes.

Examining the Truvada #BreakThePatent Debate: Gilead Responds

In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Truvada, an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) treatment manufactured by Gilead Sciences as a daily pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) treatment to reduce the risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in sexually active individuals. Recently, this HIV PrEP treatment and its patent have been thrust into the spotlight thanks to a commercial for Truvada that Gilead ran during the January 27 broadcast of Rent: Live on the Fox television network. While many were encouraged by the fact that a national TV network was raising awareness about PrEP treatment, the commercial sparked a return to a debate over the high price of Truvada. As of June 2018, news reports indicated that once-daily Truvada treatment cost about $1,500 per month, or around $18,000 per year. Although the cost of Truvada is often covered by health insurance, the treatment hasn’t been adopted as widely as was expected when the drug was approved. Between January 2012 and March 2014, a review of half of U.S. pharmacies by Gilead showed that only 3,253 had begun a PrEP regimen during that time, far less than the estimated 500,000 people who would make good candidates for Truvada. That number has expanded rapidly to 77,120 U.S. PrEP users in 2016 and an estimated 136,000 users by the end of 2017’s first quarter, but that’s still far short of the estimated 1.2 million American adults at high risk of HIV infection who could benefit from PrEP. “Based on feedback from partners and our work in the field, we believe that one of the greatest barriers to Truvada for PrEP access today is limited awareness of Truvada for PrEP’s role in HIV prevention,” Gilead told IPWatchdog. “Data from our patient support programs do not suggest that cost is a primary obstacle to treatment. The majority of people receiving Truvada for PrEP today who utilize our co-pay coupons pay less than $5 per bottle.”

Why Helsinn v. Teva Creates Inscrutable Uncertainty About the Scope of Prior Art Instead of Confirming Longstanding Law

To the casual observer, the Supreme Court’s January 23 decision in Helsinn v. Teva may seem like no big deal. In just a few pages of text, the Court informs us that Congress did not change the established meaning of “on sale” prior art when it rewrote Section 102 of the Patent Act in 2011. Move along, nothing to see here, right? More than a few commentators seem to assume that we’ll simply return to the pre-America Invents Act (AIA) status quo, and that sales of an invention, whether public or private, will just continue to trigger a familiar statutory one-year clock for filing a patent application. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the impact of private sales (and of non-public commercial uses) on the patentability of later-filed patent applications will be significant, and very different from pre-AIA law. Patent applicants and owners of patents that were issued under the AIA have every reason to worry about traps for the unwary.

Analyzing Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Granting Cert. in Helsinn

On June 25th, the the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., on appeal from the Federal Circuit. The case will ask the Supreme Court to decide whether an inventor’s sale of an invention to a third party that is obligated to keep the invention confidential qualifies as prior art for purposes of determining the patentability of the invention under the terms of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). In other words, is a secret sale prior art? To assess some of the reasons why the Supreme Court likely decided to take up Helsinn’s appeal, and some of the arguments we are sure to see again at the merits stage, we explore some of the amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court encouraging them to take up the case on appeal.

St. Regis Mohawks, BIO send letters to Senate Judiciary slamming the unfair playing field of IPRs at PTAB

On Thursday, October 12th, a pair of letters addressed to the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee were delivered in an attempt to inform Senators on that committee of various issues in play regarding the recent patent deal between multinational pharmaceutical firm Allergan and the sovereign St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. The two groups sending the letters represent stakeholders in the U.S. patent system coming from very different backgrounds who realize that there are fundamental flaws in the system created by inter partes review (IPR) proceedings which are carried out at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Think Twice Before Pulling the Plug on Tech Transfer

Most assaults on public/private sector R&D partnerships are launched by those who believe patents are inherently bad and that through some undefined magic publicly funded inventions will be developed if they were only made freely available.  However, every couple of years attacks come from another, more threatening direction — claims by well placed, but inexperienced “experts” that if their pet theories were adopted technology transfer from the public sector would sky rocket. One idea being promoted is that universities should double or triple the number of their inventions to justify continued federal funding, thus triggering a spike in commercialization rates. In reality the only  spike would be in patenting dubious inventions to pad the numbers, leading to depressed licensing rates as portfolios were filled with junk.

Academic Patent Licensing Helps Drive the U.S. Economy

What’s even more impressive is the impacts on gross industry output and GDP are up 14% while  the number of U.S. jobs supported rose 12% since the previous report issued two years ago. That’s remarkable at a time when the overall U.S. economy has been treading water… While the attacks on Bayh-Dole (and the patent system) are largely driven by emotion, here’s some additional data BIO cited that’s worth considering: over the past 25 years academic inventions led to the formation of 11,000 startups and the commercialization of more than 10,000 new products.

IP Protection Critical for BioPharma Given Number, Cost and Complexity of Clinical Trials

Biopharmaceutical innovation is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, and risky. More so now than ever. A 2014 study by Tufts University’s Center for the Study of Drug Development calculated that a mere one in eight (11.8%) of all drugs that enter clinical trials are ultimately approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug development gamble appears to be getting riskier. A report released on May 25th by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the biotechnology industry’s national trade group, finds that fewer than one in ten (9.6%) of drugs that enter clinical trials will gain approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Jim Greenwood to Chair BIO Ventures for Global Health Board of Directors

BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) announced that Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has been elected as the new BVGH Board Chair for a term of three years. BVGH engages global health stakeholders in partnerships to accelerate the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that address the unmet medical needs of the developing world.

Will More Regulation Create Cheaper Drugs?

The idea of reducing drug prices through more government control is always simmering on the backburner and doesn’t require much to bring it to a full boil. Two recent actions turned up the heat to full blast. The response is often calls for more regulation, but ever increasing regulation benefits established players, which while inconvenienced, can afford to play the game. Start-ups can’t survive in endless oceans of red-tape that increase their costs while restricting market entry. Before rushing to impose more federal control, it might be wise to ask if government regulations inadvertently contribute to the problem.