4 September 2014

August newsletter in 60 seconds

Our expert comment this month looks at personalised medicine, but more from a business point of view than a medical one. As LSIPR readers will know, personalised medicine is all about tailoring treatment to the individual, and that, of course, can be extremely complicated.

Partnerships therefore make sense, bringing together experts in a variety of fields: not just medical specialists but others who know about technology, business and, of course, IP.

That’s because personalised medicine can be technologically challenging, and therefore expensive. If there’s a gap in knowledge internally, it may well make sense to bring someone in from outside. And while costs may be high, opportunities for exploiting discoveries may be too—which is where the business specialists and the patent lawyers come in.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there was a substantial increase in personalised medicine patent activity in the years up to 2004. And activity has remained at a high level since, although it seems to have levelled off since 2006.

So commercial interest in personalised medicine remains high and the importance of partnerships between the scientists, the accountants and the lawyers clear.

Pluristem, the company whose IP strategy we look at this month, currently holds 30 patents, issued by the US, EU and countries including China, Russia and South Africa. It also has 120 applications pending.

It has a number of trade secrets as well, and reckons the field it’s operating in—developing therapies using cells from the placenta—is ripe for creating new IP too. Every year it files two to six new patent families, so its IP portfolio is growing all the time.

Now, it’s working with the Charité university hospital in Berlin to develop new products, and it has licensing agreements with a range of different companies that develop Pluristem products for specific indications.

So Pluristem, like so many others, has recognised the importance of partnerships to ensure that it’s a success from a business point.

Martin Essex, Managing editor

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