8 October 2014Biotechnology

Pluristem victorious after EPO opposition proceedings

A patent belonging to Pluristem Therapeutics covering a treatment for ischemia has been upheld by the European Patent Office (EPO) following opposition proceedings, the company has announced.

Pluristem, a developer of placenta-based cell therapy products, said its patent “Adherent cells from adipose or placenta tissues and thereof in therapy" had been upheld in amended form.

The EPO ran the patent application through its opposition proceedings after receiving a complaint from an unnamed cell therapy company, according to a Pluristem statement released yesterday (October 7).

The office concluded that Pluristem's patent, the claims of which “cover the treatment of ischemia with adherent placental cells which are propagated using a 3D culture”, is valid.

Ischemia is a shortage of blood supply to tissues causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed to keep tissues alive.

Zami Aberman, chairman and chief executive of Pluristem, said IP was a “core asset” for Pluristem.

"We believe this case, which was brought to the opposition division of the EPO from a cell therapy company, afforded Pluristem a clear opportunity,” Aberman said.

He added: “We have proven that we are determined to protect our IP assets that cover our unique, proprietary inventions, and that we are committed to protect our patents from any challenge."

EPO opposition proceedings, conducted by the opposition division (OD), allow interested third parties to challenge the validity of all the national parts of a patent.

Parties are allowed to appeal against decisions made by the OD.

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