Scientists Simplifying Science

Tag archive


The Patent Chronicle

in Sci-IP by

(April 25th, 2017) Your weekly dose from the world of patents. The Patent Chronicle is led by Syam Anand, who has been at the core of CSG’s development and an entrepreneur himself. This section is your go to destination every week for a capsule dose on the hottest happenings in the patent world. Syam has clinically dissected out every news on the decision, the background and the impact. He is also in the process of building his scicomm team for this section. If you would like to come aboard, mail him at

India sees high patent growth

Source: India Innovation Trend Report from Clarivate Analytics, a leader in Patent Analytics reports that India scored the highest growth of 26 percent in terms of published patents amongst the countries analyzed. These include China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Reason: Clarivate identified the following main reasons

  1. Government initiatives;
  2. Increasing number of R&D centers being opened by MNCs as well as Indian corporations; and
  3. Indian companies realizing the importance of patent protection in different geographies.

Impact: Polymers and plastics, computing, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications accounted for two-thirds of the published patents indicative of strength in these areas. Encouraging signs are present that the trend will continue and make India competitive in the global market.

Read more here and here


Dow wins huge infringement suit against Nova

Decision: A Canadian court ruled that Nova Chemical Corp. has to pay Dow Chemical Co. all the profits it earned by infringing on Dow’s Canadian patent on garbage bags and packaging materials. The ruling judge also came up with a formula that will guide the accountants at Dow and Nova how to determine the Nova’s profits from selling the infringing products.

Reason: Nova sold products for a long time that was covered by Dow’s patent claiming that their method is based on another polymer and did not infringe Dow’s methods patent. The litigation dragged on for several years, during which Nova made substantial profits.

Impact: This is the first time “springboard” damages have been awarded by a Canadian court on infringement. “Springboard” damages are assessed from actual accounted profits made by the infringer during the period of infringement. Backed by the verdict, Nova will pay Dow a substantial amount, which by some accounts is close to a billion dollars. Nova will stop making and selling packaging materials with their SURPASS polymer.

Read more


Snap buys an app patent for $7.7 million

Decision: Snap of Snapchat fame buys a geofilter app from Mobli for the huge sum.

Reason: Snapchat wanted to keep Facebook away from acquiring the patent. $360 million out of Snap’s $400 million profit was made from geofilters. Had FB acquired the patent, it would have wiped out Snap’s profits from geofilters.

Impact: Geofilters are location-speific photofilters that can be used for advertising. Snap did not have a geofilter app in their collection. Therefore, this becomes a sensible acquisition for Snap. This deal also sets a new trend for software app market wars between the giants in social media, $7.7 million being the highest sum paid for an Israeli firm for a software app. Mobli was lagging behind its competitor, Instagram. This comes as a decent win for Mobli.

Read more


Sanofi and Regeneron faces infringement over their Atopic Dermatitis drug

Decision: Amgen sued Sanofi and Regeneron for infringement over their Atopic Dermatitis (AD) drug Dupilumab (Dupixent),

Reason: Amgen’s subsidiary Immunex has a patent protecting the development of IL4-receptor antibodies. Amgen believes that Dupilumab, a monoclonal human antibody against IL4 and IL3 receptors, infringes the Immunex patent.

Impact: Dupilumab is a rapidly evolving blockbuster for Sanofi and Regeneron that was approved by FDA recently. It had showed efficacy against AD and holds a lot of promise for asthma and other diseases based on the biological mechanism it targets. If they lose, it will be a big loss for Sanofi and Regeneron, as some of their trials for other indications center around Dupilumab. Sweeping claims covering broad biological mechanisms are however difficult to litigate and win in courts. Therefore, it remains to be seen is Amgen’s contention will find support in the court.

Read more

Bellus Health’s patent for Chronic Cough lead compound

Decision: USPTO grants Bellus Health a patent for their lead compound for treating chronic cough.

Reason: BLU-5937 was deemed novel and useful by the patent office. Compound BLU-5937, related imidazopyridine compounds, and pharmaceutical compositions containing these compounds are covered by the patent. They are potent, and selective antagonists of P2X3 receptors located on airway sensory neurons that are hypersensitized in chronic cough.

Impact: Bellus Health is a company focused on developing treatments for diseases with high unmet medical needs. With this win, Bellus Health could attract the resources needed to develop the lead molecule into a drug. Bellus holds the license to develop BLU-5937 from NEOMED who had it assigned to them from AstraZeneca. The P2X3 antagonist program was initiated by AstraZeneca scientists in Montreal.

Read more

Read more about Bellus




About the author:


Authored by Dr Syam Anand, PhD (Indian Institute of Science, IISc; Post-Doctoral research, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Faculty, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Founder and US Patent Agent, Mainline Intellectual Property LLC, Ardmore, Philadelphia USA). Syam has over 20 years experience in diverse areas of Science with domain knowledge in Life Sciences and Intellectual Property. Dr. Anand is also an inventor and budding entrepreneur. A rationalist, Dr. Anand enjoys science at all levels and advocates the use of scientific methods for answering all questions and solving all problems and make common people curious and interested in understanding their worlds.

Featured Image source: Twitter

Blog design: Abhinav Dey

Creative Commons License
This work by ClubSciWri is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.



MedNess- March Mania

in Medness by

Hello and welcome to yet another exciting week of MedNess. In this March mania, we bring the news from medicine and healthcare with the greatest impact.

Tom Price justifies NIH’s “indirect” budget cuts

Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) defended Trump’s administration proposed National Institute of Health’s budget cuts. The Trump administration proposed $5.8 billion, about 18% cut for the fiscal year 2018. In addition to that, an addendum proposed an additional $1.2 billion cut for the current fiscal year. When questioned by both democrats and republicans about the nature of budget cuts, Price explained to reduce the “overhead” costs to streamline the system. According to the Secretary of HHS, the “indirect” cost takes up about 30% of the grant money, which could otherwise be available for research.
This came in as a second blow to the medical research community. Earlier this year, Trump administration pushed deregulation of FDA to accelerate the drug approval process. The research community did not welcome this proposal. Also, both pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies did not approve of the proposition (STAT and Science).


March for Science, a scientist’s view:  For our readers, “overhead” or “indirect” costs constitute of anything required for carrying out research safely, smoothly and efficiently! Some of the “indirect” costs include lab equipment, electricity, custodial services and other utilities. The list is not inclusive but clearly, emphasizes the importance of overhead charges. The budget cuts will not only affect the advancement of research but will also impact jobs and outreach of science. For non-science professionals, say, politicians, the overhead cost will include, electricity, custodial services, security, dinner, travel, etc. Again, the list is not inclusive! Of course, these expenses are required for the smooth functioning of the government. Before I wrap up the section, just a thought: yes, we need the stronger military to defend the country, but we need to ask this question, who are we protecting; the people and the Mother Nature. Therefore, we need an effective EPA and NIH. We need the healthy and clean environment and disease-free children and adults.

Amgen’s LDL-lowering drug Repatha: effective drug with good data for a bad price?
Amgen presented Phase III FOURIER results on Repatha (Evolocumab) at the 2017 American College of Cardiology conference. Repatha is an LDL-lowering PCSK9 inhibitor. Repatha targets PCSK9 proteins in the blood stream thus preventing it from binding to and breaking down LDL cholesterol receptors in the liver. The trial results were impressive. This wonder drug is believed to break down the most stubborn cholesterol. The FDA approved drug marketing in 2015 after the drug’s addition to statins reduced the LDL levels by about 63%. At the ACC, Amgen reported the outcome of long-term FOURIER trial and the results showed that Repatha reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke by 15% or more. Repatha met both its primary and secondary composite endpoint in the secondary prevention trial demonstrating superiority to statin therapy. However, analysts are not too impressed with the data and question the high price of the drug. Earlier, analysts with BioPharmInsight suggested that the high price of Repatha could be justified if the cardiovascular event risk reduction is at least 35%. Repatha has been price tagged for $14,000 annually. The trial findings and analyst’s reports will also affect insurance coverage of the drug (MedPage Today).

MedNess: PCSK9 is the hottest target in the field of cardiovascular research. While Amgen’s drug can crush the most stubborn cholesterol molecules, the investors were not impressed, or at least the stock market trend did not concede with it. After the results had been announced, Amgen’s stock price went down by 10%. However, a lot of analysts are still keeping their faith in Amgen’s stocks and considering this temporary dip as an opportunity for investment. On the contrary, the competition from other biosimilars is getting fiercer, and the dip in stock price might not be temporary after all. Other contenders in this area with Amgen, are the drugs from Sanofi and Regeneron. Both the companies are locked in a patent battle with Amgen. Another drug in the race is The Medicine’s Company’s inclisiran. Unlike Amgen’s, Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s drug, inclisiran interrupts PCSK9 synthesis. The analysts look at this drug as efficacious as Repatha but with fewer annual doses. If this assumption is correct, Amgen will have a hard time convincing insurance companies for their drug price. The best bet might be therefore to either wait or invest wisely (The Motley Fool and Seeking alpha).

FDA approves Roche MS drug Ocrevus after 3-month delay

The FDA approved Roche MS drug Ocrevus after initial delay caused by regulator’s concerns over manufacturing issues.
Ocrelizumab, becomes the first U.S.-approved medicine for the primary progressive multiple sclerosis. It has also been approved for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Biogen’s MS drug has been used to treat RRMS. Biogen will receive up to 24% royalty on U.S. sales of Ocrevus. According to the pharmaceutical giant; Ocrevus is expected to be available for use to people within two weeks.


MedNess: Analysts forecast annual sales exceeding $3 billion by 2021 as reported by Reuters. After the approval news, Biogen stock fell by 2%, and Roche stock rose by a fraction. Novartis’s drug for MS treatment, BAF312, for secondary progressive MS is expected to receive regulatory approval in the first half of 2017. Until then, Roche can bask in glory  (Reuters, Investor’s Business Daily, FiercePharma).

FDA approves Tesaro Inc’s Niraparib for the treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Tesaro’s Niraprib (Zejula) gained an early approval by FDA for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer. Zejula is a PARP inhibitor causing DNA damage. It is a first drug in the class that can be used to treat all women with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer without requiring BRCA mutation or biomarker evaluation. This is unlike the rival drug Lynparza by AstraZeneca. In addition, Zejula acquired orphan drug designation for its use in the treatment of recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer.

MedNess: According to EvaluatePharma, Zejula is one of the top drug launches of 2017 with 2022 sales expectations of $1.9 billion. Tesaro Inc’s shares were up 7.78 percent after the drug gained FDA approval (FiercePharma and BusinessInsider).

Illustration: Ipsa Jain

About the Author

Imit Kaur is a freelance medical writer, editor and an active science blogger. She pursued her PhD in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from University of Utah. She is experienced in the field of oncology, hematology, pharmacology, nanotechnology and drug development.

Go to Top
%d bloggers like this: