Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Patent Analytics on Australia Research Activity

IP Australia published a patent analytics report on the Australian research sector in 2016 which analyses intellectual property (IP) rights holdings of publicly funded research organisations (PFROs) in Australian and provides an overview of innovation from the Australian research sector. There are 40 universities, 52 medical research institutes (MRIs) and 5 publicly funded research agencies (PFRAs) included in the analysis.

The university sector lodged 4,363 patent applications and 2,429 PCT applications from 2000-14. Over the same period, PFRAs lodged 1,715 patent applications and 1,026 PCT applications. MRIs file 501 patent applications and 481 PCT applications. Universities, as a whole when compared to PFRAs and MRIs, are more likely to lodge patent applications in order to buy time to explore the value of the invention.

After Australia, the target market for inventions are USA, Europe and Canada.

The top 5 university applicants are University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Monash University, University of New South Wales and University of Melbourne.

Research partners can be identified when there are two or more applicants. There are between 23 and 25 per cent of applications having co-applicants. This includes university-university collaboration as well as university-industry collaboration. Most collaboration occurs domestically with 773 applications (77 percent).

Top 5 technology breakdown of Australia research organisations:
1. Pharmaceuticals
2. Medical technology
3. Biotechnology
4. Chemical engineering
5. Measurement

IP Australia

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Malaysia Toilet Innovation in IPIEC Global 2018

A self-sustaining toilet system based on solar energy and electrochemistry was selected as finalist from Malaysia for IPIEC Global 2018. The innovation by Nanopac can turn human waste into hydrogen gas and fertilizer.

Nanopac chief executive officer Datuk Dr Cheng Kok Leong said under a three years contract from 2017, Nanopac would sell its nano-solar cells and self-sustaining toilet system technologies to GC Global. He added that these technologies will then be sold and marketed to GC Global's network in Europe, United States, Africa and Asia.

The public are invited to vote for their favorite innovations in IPIEC. You can place one vote everyday until 12 Dec 2018.

IPIEC Global or Intellectual Property Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest promotes revolutionary technologies, and raise awareness of technology trends and IP concepts. Organized by WTOIP GLOBAL, IPIEC GLOBAL 2018 is accredited as part of the Maker in China contest series guided by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT).

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why patent drugs

Dr Schreitmueller

BIG pharmaceutical companies have often been accused of “extending” their drug patents for as long as possible, depriving many patients of cheaper generic versions of drugs that could potentially save their lives or improve their conditions.

Called evergreening, NGOs had said these companies tend to “extend” drug patent just before the 20-year expiry period by making only a slight modification.

Dr Thomas Schreitmueller, Regulatory Policy Head at Roche Global, argues this is not necessarily the case. While this may be the contention for generic drugs, it is not for biological products, says Dr Schreitmueller who is based in Basel, Switzerland, citing the difference between trastuzumab and trastuzumab emtansine. While Trastuzumab can slow or stop the growth of breast cancer, the newer trastuzumab emtansine can kill breast cancer cells, he says. With trastuzumab, patients will still have to get a separate chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells but with the newer trastuzumab emtansine, patients do not need to go for a separate chemotherapy, Dr Schreitmueller explains.

In this case, he tells The Star in an interview, “You clearly change the purpose of the molecule. And this is different from ever-greening.”

Dr Schreitmueller points to another example of innovation – the first generation Interferon alfa-2a for treating Hepatitis C, which is made of pure protein, but years later, the protein was modified by pegylation (chemical modification to the protein). This changed the pharmacokinetic (bodily absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs) profile of the product.
With the pegylation immunogenicity in patients being lower, the dosing frequency could be lowered, he says, adding that the “new” product also shows a higher efficacy compared with the former version.

According to Dr Schreitmueller, an originator product is more expensive than a biosimilar because when developing the use for the antibody for treating each of the diseases or condition (indications), the originator company will have to carry out clinical studies for each of the indications while this is not required for biosimilar products.

A biosimilar company may extrapolate positive data from one clinical similarity assessment in one indication to all other indications of the originator product, besides the needed demonstration of analytical and preclinical similarities, he says.

In developing a new drug for 10 indications, a pharmaceutical company may have to do more than 10 clinical studies while a manufacturer of a biosimilar product (a biologic medical product that is almost identical copy of an original) may have to do only two, he says.

There is also a low risk of failing to demonstrate safety and efficacy for the biosimilar product as this was already demonstrated by the originator product, he says.

Dr Schreitmueller also points out that a high level of similarity between a biosimilar and the originator product was important to mitigate the risk of interchangeability (switching), particularly with cancer products.

“You cannot do with biologics what you may do with synthetic drugs that are not immunogenic because if the patient has developed an immune response to the biosimilar after a switch and thus, does not work anymore, this immune response may also neutralise the originator product and it also will not work anymore for the patient.

“So there is no point switching back to the originator product,” he says.

However, he says for rheumatoid arthritis, patients may switch to other treatments if one fails because there are many other options available.

In view of such delicate situation with biologics and biosimilars, Dr Schreitmueller urges the Malaysian authorities to be more transparent in its regulatory decision making by coming up with an objective evaluation report and not leave the education of the products to companies or other stakeholders.

This is crucial for physicians and patients to make unbiased treatment decisions, he stresses.
“In Europe, whenever the European Medicine Agency (EMA) approved a pharmaceutical product, it will publish an evaluation report.

“In the report, the physicians, patients and other stakeholders are able to find information such as the results of the clinical studies, preclinical and analytical studies with conclusion from EMA as well as the reason why a certain product is approved.”

Pharma co-vigilant (monitoring of side-effects) is also important after a product is released into the market, he adds.

Asked how pharmaceutical companies can address the issue of high drug cost that is inaccessible to many patients and and put a burden on health care systems, Dr Schreitmueller says in cases without competition, it would be useful to identify specific patients where the drugs would work with a high likelihood, such as through tumour gene analysis.

“Currently, we may have a drug, such as for lung cancer approved, but it may not work on all lung cancer patients.

“If we are able to treat only a specifically identified population, a sub group, this will make the system more efficient and achieve cost effectiveness,” he says.

In cases where we have competition such as biosimilars, the Government buying several products from the same molecule instead of allowing only single win contract, enables and maintains competition.

On NGOs arguing that most of the discovered compounds were researched in public universities – thus paid by tax payers and should not cause drugs developed to be too expensive – Dr Schreitmueller points out that these institutions are not necessarily involved in the costly development efforts leading to a safe and effective product, which are usually done by the pharmaceutical companies. - The Star

Thursday, September 20, 2018

China-ASEAN Trademark and Brand Forum in Nanning

The year 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN Expo, and the first China-ASEAN Innovation Year. The event, held on September 13 in Nanning, was jointly sponsored by the State Administration for Market Regulation, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The theme of the forum is “Trademark, Brand Strategy and Economic Development”. 300 participants, including the heads of relevant government agencies from 9 ASEAN countries, representatives of non-governmental organizations, experts and scholars, relevant national ministries and commissions, heads of industrial and commercial bureaus of some provinces (municipalities, districts, and Municipalities with Independent Planning Status under the National Social and Economic Development) of China, well-known domestic economists and entrepreneurs, etc., officially gathered in the Green City.

Chong highlights few points to improve IP system at forum

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen highlighted several important points in order to improve on Malaysia’s intellectual property (IP) system such as the proposed amendment to the Trademark Act 1976 at the recent China Asean Trademark & Brand Forum held in Nanning, China.

He said in a press release that the improvement will enable Malaysia to accede to the Madrid Protocol that will benefit us economically by enhancing confidence among foreign investors of the country’s business environment.

Chong also emphasised the country’s commitment to set up a proper and transparent criteria for IP valuation in order to recognise IP asset value as collateral.

The forum was hosted by the government of China in collaboration with the State Market Regulatory Administration (SMRA) and the People’s Government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Several ministerial-level participants from Asean countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand also attended the discussion.

The main objective of the event was to discuss and exchange ideas pertaining to trademark and intellectual property development between Asean countries for the benefit of the regional grouping.
China’s huge achievements in trademark applications filed in recent years had inspired Malaysia to strengthen collaborative effort with the economic giant in implementing more activities and programmes that can enhance understanding of trademark laws and protection requirements within the business community in both countries. - Borneo Post

Friday, September 14, 2018

Product, brand need to be supported by good leadership — Saifuddin Nasution

Every new product or brand should be supported by good leadership to ensure its resilience to withstand competition against other global products, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He said history had shown that many companies listed in the Fortune 500 in the past failed to maintain their momentum and competitiveness and eventually disappeared.

“In Malaysia, we have MEC, Satay Ria, Mega TV, Metro TV, but they are no more in existence.They did start with innovation, then disappeared.

“Innovations need to be supported by good leadership that can guarantee the model and to elevate the idea so that it can turn into something lucrative,” he said at the award presentation of the 13th National Intellectual Property Awards 2018, organised by the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) here yesterday.

He also said the country was on the right track to become a developed nation based on intellectual property (IP) ownership and increased trademark applications.

In 2017, a total of 50,188 IP applications were filed in Malaysia with an increase of 4.3 per cent compared to the previous year.

He said of the total, 39,736 IP were registered, an increase of 4.4 per cent compared to the previous year, and 35 per cent of them were owned by Malaysians.

“Although the number is still far below the foreign ownership, based on the upward trend of applications every year, I believe we can still achieve the target of 50 per cent if we can continue the momentum in producing intellectual property with the government support,” he said.

At the award presentation yesterday, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) bagged the gold award for the Best IP Management category and took home a cash prize of RM30,000, a championship trophy, an accompanying trophy and a certificate of appreciation.

Apart from UPM that bagged its second gold award for Patent category, other gold winners of five more categories contested were Hipster Pomade (for Trade Mark); D Athirah Enterprise (Industrial Design); Universiti Teknologi Mara (Copyright); Pusat Latihan Teknologi Tinggi Batu Pahat, Johor (Young Inventor of IP for skill training institute students) and Mara Junior Science College, Jeli, Kelantan (Young Inventor of IP for secondary school students). — Bernama

Friday, August 10, 2018

Parting Words of Dato Shamsiah, Former DG MyIPO

Picture by MyIPO

MyIPO bid farewell to Dato Shamsiah Kamaruddin, Director General of MyIPO who served up to 25 years in the organization until her retirement. A farewell was organized on 26 July 2018.

MyIPO was incorporated in 2003 as a government agency so that it can efficiently manage financial and human resources to run programs that encourage the growth of intellectual property in the country. This year is the 15th anniversary of MyIPO. In an interview conducted by Utusan Melayu published on 5 Mar 2018, she shared her experience in running the organization.

"For 15 years, we experience growth of intellectual property applications up to 125%. As a form of  appreciation for local innovation, MyIPO organized National IP Award ceremony annually since 2006. Through this award, our country produced more local innovators including those that are acknowledged internationally," shared Dato Shamsiah as her biggest achievement.

She also mentioned that through governments efforts, Malaysia was removed from USTR Priority Watchlist in 2012. Other than that, MyIPO has established cooperation with ASEAN countries as ASEAN Working Froup in Intellectual Property Co-operation (AWGIPC) to modernize intellectual property development in ASEAN.

Dato Shamsiah said that MyIPO acts as a guardian of intellectual property in Malaysia. The laws of intellectual property in Malaysia is in line with international intellectual property laws such as Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty, WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performaces and Phonograms Treaty. She also said that MyIPO conducts law review to improve and hasten intellectual property protection.

She wishes that MyIPO continually improve the National IP policy launched in 2007 through international cooperation by harmonizing procedures and regulations in intellectual property registration.

The full interview in Utusan Melayu