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New venture boosts leading medical researchers & their IP rights

A unique public-private partnership provides medical research centers and the patents they generate with a more efficient and rewarding path toward commercialization.

Bridge Medicines is a drug discovery company launched recently in conjunction with three of the leading non-profit medical research institutions – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine, collectively known as Tri-I TDI. This firm makes it easier for researchers to get the non-dilutive calogopital that they need to move ahead with good ideas that would otherwise require outside funding.

The partnership includes Takeda, a Japanese Pharmaceutical company, Bay City Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, and Deerfield Management, a life science analytics organization based in New York. New businesses funded by the venture will remain in New York.

From Concept to Candidate

Bridge Medicines is a unique initiative that completes an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from concept to drug candidate, in order to help develop innovative therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases.

“The goal is to move research projects further along the development path without loosing momentum or mortgaging the future of their patents,” Kathleen Denis, Associate Vice President and director of technology transfer at Rockefeller University and a past-president of the Licensing Executives Society, told IP CloseUp. “Often, research institutions must give away all of their rights for a little early help. Bridge Medicines prevents this from happening.”

Research projects accepted into the Tri-I TDI, which was launched in 2013 and currently has about 50 projects underway, will now be able to graduate to Bridge Medicines, where they will be given financial, operational and managerial support to move from validating pre-clinical studies to human clinical trials.

Retaining IP Rights

Typically, investigators behind promising early-stage discoveries must search for a bio-pharmaceutical company to purchase or license their intellectual property, or find a funding opportunity to support additional logo-tritdiresearch. This process can be time-consuming and may shift investigators’ focus away from science and onto funding. It slows progress and in some cases even ends the development path.

“The launch of Bridge Medicines is an exciting development in New York’s biotechnology space,” said Dr. Michael Foley, Sanders Director of the Tri-I TDI. “We’re offering entrepreneurs access to support what’s next in bio-pharmaceuticals. Bridge enables us to advance promising projects farther down the development pipeline, providing new therapies to patients as quickly as possible. It establishes a pathway from idea to proof of human concept with little more than a five-page application summary.”

For the Bridge Medicines announcement, go here

For more information on Bridge Medicines, go here.

For background on Tri-I TDI research partnership, go here.

Saving Time & Lives

Because Bridge Medicines projects are funded as a group, even some riskier, but potentially transformational, ideas can obtain financial support.

Participants say the arrangement could shave-off a decade or more from the typical process of going from a promising discovery to medical use.

Image source: bridgemedicines.com; tritdi.org

Patexia Graph

Technology companies back as top patent defendants in 2016

While it may seem like all of the patent infringement targets are large technology companies in 2015, at least 7 of the top 10 defendants were less well-known or in the pharmaceutical business. 

According to Patexia, a California patent research firm, the top defendants in patent law suits in 2015 were in descending order: Apple, Samsung, Spin Screed, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Sandi Scales, Conlon Properties, HP, Mylan, Actavis and Amneal Pharmaceuticals. 

Apple was defendant in 51 cases in 2015, while the lowest of the top ten, Amneal, was defendant in 31 suits.

Patexia Graph

Spin Speed is a construction tools company. Sandi Scales is a Georgia company doing business as Sandi Scales Etching Company. An extensive Internet search revealed no background on Conlon Properties.

Mylan Pharmaceutical, Mylan, Actavis and Amneal are all pharma or pharma-related business. Apple, Samsung and HP are primarily consumer electronics companies.

2016

For 2016 to date, however, the top patent defendants is comprised entirely of tech or e-commerce companies, most with a consumer focus: Expedia, Apple, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, Huawei USA, Samsung, HP, T-Mobile USA,  ZTE and Huawei.

For access to the 2015 and 2016 top defendants list go here.

Image source: patexia.com

 

Pharma Cos Face "Patent Cliff" as Protection Expires

Ten Blockbusters will End in Two Years –

An article in Daily Finance says that patents that are expiring on many top-selling drugs will cause pharmaceutical company sales to drop by as much as $30 billion in  2011 and 2012 and will have continued impact.

The Ten Biggest Selling Drugs that are About to Lose their Patents notes that an estimated $250 billion in sales between now and 2015 are at risk.

This may be good news for some consumers, who will pay less, but bad for companies like Pfizer, whose top-selling Lipitor peaked out at $12.9 billion in 2006, representing  27% of its total sales.

The situation would be less of a problem for the pharma industry if there were more patentable drugs in company R&D  piplines. Generic companies are expected to benefit only until about 2015, when there will be fewer blockbusters coming off of patent for them to replicate.

The five biggest selling drugs set to lose patent protection this year and next:

Patent Expiring in 2011 Condition Company 2010 U.S. Sales
Lipitor Cholesterol Pfizer $5,329,000,000
Zyprexa Antipsychotic Eli Lily $2,496,000,000
Levaquin Antibiotics Johnson & Johnson $1,312,000,000
Concerta ADHD/ADD Johnson & Johnson $929,000,000
Protonix Antacid Pfizer $690,000,000
Patent Expiring in 2012 Condition Company 2010 U.S. Sales
Plavix Anti-platelet Bristol-Myers Squibb/ Sanofi-Aventis $6,154,000,000
Seroquel Antipsychotic AstraZeneca $3,747,000,000
Singulair Asthma Merck $3,224,000,000
Actos Type 2 diabetes Takeda $3,351,000,000
Enbrel arthritis Amgen $3,304,000,000

In an eye on the future, since 2009 Pfizer paid $68b for Wyeth, Merck paid $41b for Schering-Plough, Roche paid $46b for Genentech, and Sanofi-Aventis paid $20b for Genzyme.

Future emphasis for both branded and generic drug companies is likely to be on biologics and follow-on biolgoics or biosimilars, which are created from processes sometimes using living entities, such as cells and tissues, as opposed to chemical compounds. Until recently most drugs have been derived from chemical compounds.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act recently awarded biologics a 12-year limit on patent protection, providing some clarity with regard to IP.

Charts: IBIS World and Daily Finance


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