Biotech, Gates Foundation, and Global Health

Great interview by Gene Quinn with Erik Iverson, Associate General Counsel with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  A summary article is on BIOtech Now and the full interview can be found on IPWatchdog.com.

 Highlights:

Iverson told me in no uncertain terms, “[A] fundamental premise at the foundation is that we absolutely respect intellectual property rights.  We recognize their importance and we certainly recognize the importance of companies and their involvement in developing products and having them commercialized both in developed and developing countries.”  But how can the Gates Foundation balance the intellectual property rights of those who create live saving technologies and treatments while at the same time ensuring the humanitarian mission? 

According to Iverson, this requires a different approach to each situation taking into consideration the unique factual circumstances involved, such as the disease at issue, the marketability that may exist in developed countries and the need to incentivize the desired outcome.  Iverson explained, “[T]he life science community is all about helping people and saving lives… [we are] trying to figure out how to balance them to push the development of products that well, very few people historically have put much effort into…”

Advertisements

BIO Hails Senate Passage of America Invents Act

BIO Hails Senate Passage of America Invents Act

Bipartisan, consensus-oriented approach will strengthen nation’s patent system and spur innovation, job creation

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2011) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement on the passage today of the America Invents Act (S. 23) by the U.S. Senate:

“BIO commends the Senate for its overwhelming passage of the America Invents Act by a vote of 95-5.  We appreciate the dedication of Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) and the bill’s other cosponsors for their tireless efforts to build bipartisan consensus on the legislation.  Once enacted into law, it will strengthen and improve our nation’s patent system, spurring innovation and job creation.

“Patents are often the main assets of small biotech companies, and they rely on this intellectual property to attract investors to fund the lengthy and expensive research and development process necessary to bring breakthrough new therapies and other biotech products to patients and consumers.

“The improvements made by the America Invents Act would benefit all sectors of the U.S. economy by enhancing patent quality and the efficiency, objectivity, predictability, and transparency of the patent system. 

“BIO encourages the House of Representatives to consider patent reform without delay, and we look forward to working with Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and the members of the House Committee on the Judiciary.  We are committed to ensuring that patent reform legislation preserves and enhances the incentives necessary to sustain our nation’s global leadership in biotechnology innovation and to spur the creation of high-wage, high-value jobs throughout the country.”

2011 BIO International Convention Super Sessions

2011 BIO International Convention Super Sessions Focus on State of the Industry

C-Level speakers lead broad conversations on global biotech, industry forecast, and key trends

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 2, 2011) — The 2011 BIO International Convention will feature six high-level super sessions focused on the state of the industry, global biotech advancements and the outlook on the future of the industry. Hosted by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the global event for biotechnology will take place June 27-30, 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.

“The last few years have presented significant economic challenges for emerging biotech companies trying to raise investment capital, which has had a global impact on the industry. Despite recent positive signs, it is still a tough market,” said BIO CEO and President Jim Greenwood. “These Super Sessions feature high-level speakers sharing their long-term outlook on the industry, and suggested strategies for successfully rebounding from the financial challenges and moving innovation forward to help heal, fuel and feed the world.”

Super Sessions include:

Ernst & Young’s 25th Annual Biotechnology Industry Report

Ernst & Young will present highlights from its 25th annual industry report. The session will discuss implications for biotech companies as they face a more uncertain future in the current business climate. As always, Ernst & Young will also summarize the sector’s performance using key metrics – financial performance, financing, deals and pipeline productivity.

Sponsored by: Ernst & Young 
Tuesday, June 28, Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Confirmed Speakers: Glen Giovannetti, Partner and Global Biotech Leader, Ernst & Young LLP; Gautam Jaggi, Senior Manager and Editor, Beyond Borders and Progressions, Ernst & Young LLP

Burrill State-of-the-Industry Report
This presentation will look back over 25 years and describe some of the critical events that have shaped the industry into the global enterprise it is today and discuss what companies will need to do in order to remain competitive in a world being influenced by a tougher financial climate, rapidly evolving technology, globalization and new emerging markets.

Sponsored by: Burrill & Company
Tuesday, June 28, Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Confirmed Speaker: G. Steven Burrill, Chief Executive Officer, Burrill & Company  

It Takes a Village– The Biotechnology Innovation Ecosystem

This session will detail the roles, relationships and interplay among government research labs, universities, and large and small biotechnology firms in the continuum from basic research to FDA-approved products and ultimately to the patient.

Sponsored by: Eli Lilly and Company
Tuesday, June 28, Time: 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
Confirmed Speaker: John Lechleiter, Ph.D., Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Eli Lilly & Company

Emerging Markets: The Future of Growth for Biologics?

This panel will bring together leading business executives with senior government officials to talk about how Emerging Markets are shaping business thinking and what impact they will have on the future of the biotech sector.

Sponsored by: Merck
Wednesday June 29, Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am
Confirmed Speaker: Richard T. Clark, Chairman, Merck

Campbell Alliance 2011 Dealmakers’ Intentions

Campbell Alliance and BIO present updated findings from two unique forward-looking measures of deal-making in the industry – the Campbell Alliance Dealmakers’ Intentions Survey and the BIO One-on-One Partnering Forecast.  New analysis in 2011 will include year-over-year trends and the first assessment of the predictive value of these instruments.

Sponsored by: Campbell Alliance
Wednesday June 29, Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Speakers to be announced. 

Worldview 2011: Scientific American’s Regional Bio-Innovation Scorecard

Worldview 2011 will feature the third annual Scientific American’s Regional Bio-Innovation Scorecard, a review of individual country programs and policies aimed at growing local innovative biotechnology sectors. 

Wednesday June 29, Time: 3:45 – 5:15 pm
Confirmed Speaker: Fareed Zakaria, CNN host, Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, Washington Post columnist, former Editor, Newsweek International

The 2011 BIO International Convention is expected to draw more than 15,000 industry leaders from 49 states and 65 countries.  This year, the Convention program will feature more than 125 sessions in 16 tracks.  In addition, this year’s BIO Exhibition will cover an estimated 180,000 net sq. ft. and host more than 1,700 exhibitors.

The BIO International Convention also includes the BIO Business Forum, which offers attendees an unparalleled opportunity for large and small biotech companies to gather in one place, at one time to engage in partnering discussions. The ability to schedule up to 80 one-on-one meetings within just a few short days with biotech leaders from around the world enables companies to maximize their ROI for the registration and travel investment for this event. In 2010, the BIO Business Forum hosted more than 17,000 partnering meetings with more than 2,000 companies participating.

The BIO International Convention helps to support the association’s programs and initiatives. BIO works throughout the year to create a policy environment that enables the industry to continue to fulfill its vision of bettering the world through biotechnology innovation.  For additional attendee and exhibitor information, please visit http://convention.bio.org.

For detailed descriptions and a full program, please visit http://convention.bio.org.

Advance media registration for the 2011 BIO International Convention is now open and will be available online through June 17, 2011. To register in advance, please visit http://convention.bio.org/media.

BIO submits comments on Australian Senate Patent Amendment

The Australian Senate has proposed the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010 that aims to ban ‘gene patents’

From the BIO Submission to Australian Senate Legal Committee on Patent Amendment:

This amendment would exclude from patent protection “any” biological material, whether a human gene or otherwise, that is substantially identical to a naturally-occuring biological material.  Specifically, the amendment states that the following materials would be catergorically declared unpatentable:

            “biological materials including their components and derivatives, whether isolated or purified or not and however made, which are identical or substantially identical to such materials as they exist in nature.”

“Biological materials” broadly “include,” but apparently not limited to, such fundamental biotechnology building blocks as “DNA, RNA, proteins, cells and fluids.”

As almost any biological material can be said to be “substantially identical” to some other natural biological material, this change would have the effect of banning large swaths of previously patentable innovative biological discoveries – thus, removing the protection needed to incentivize investment in biotechnology-related innovation in drugs and biological therapies, preventative treatments such as vaccines, animal healthcare products, renewable energy production and other “green” technologies, environmental mitigation and remediation, biodiversity, farming, food, nutrition, household cleaners, and industrial fermentation for food and fuel production.
BIO and its members believe that excluding biological inventions from patent protection is inconsistent with the demonstrated evidence of social benefit from isolating and purifying active compounds from previously ineffective mixtures occurring in nature. For example, the invention of isolated polymerase from certain thermophilic bacteria has provided valuable methods for amplifying DNA that enables forensic DNA analysis to establish guilt or innocence of crimes, the development of life-saving medical diagnostics, and molecular breeding for improved plants. If the amendment had been law, it would have prevented the patenting – and thus development – of significant advances in human health, like purified insulin, adrenaline, and antibiotics; vitamin D and B-12 compositions; human growth hormone; erythropoietin, and numerous vaccines and anti-cancer treatments on the market today.

Accordingly, BIO believes that this amendment, if adopted, would fail to affect its intended purpose of advancing medical and scientific research and the diagnosis and cure of human illness and disease. Indeed, it would slow such progress immeasurably. The public demands continuing the patent incentive for such biologic innovation.

 

 

 

 

BIO Comments to USTR on 2011 Special 301 Review

BIO Comments to USTR on 2011 Special 301 Review (February 15, 2011)

In comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), BIO stresses the critical importance of protecting intellectual property abroad and made recommendations about which countries to include on the Priority Watch and Watch List, which to elevate as a Priority Foreigh Country, and which countries to monitor.

Read the Comments (link to http://bio.org/pdfs/BIO_2011_Special_301_Submission.pdf)

Read the Press Release (link to http://bio.org/news/pressreleases/newsitem.asp?id=2011_0221_01)

BIO’s Intellectual Property Counsels’ Committee Spring Conference and Meeting: Seattle

Over the past eight years, BIO’s semiannual IP Counsels Committee Conference has become a popular and growing event among our members’ IP and legal professionals. Our upcoming 2011 Spring IPCC Conference in Seattle, WA on April 13-15 will be an excellent opportunity for IP professionals to hear, listen, and learn about current and projected topics related to biotechnology IP.

We invite you to join us in an informal, fun and informative setting to meet fellow in-house legal and IP professionals, to make new acquaintances, to reconnect with old friends in the industry, and to take home a wealth of information – and maybe some new ideas.

To Register

Session Titles:

1.  Whose Rights are They, Anyway?  Implications from and a Discussion on Stanford v. Roche

2.  A Landmark Case: The Aftermath of Myriad

3.  Best Practices in Research Collaborations: Joint Inventorship Pitfalls and Ethical Issues in Joint Representation

4.  How to Stay in the Frying Pan and Out of the Fire: Hot Topics in Ethics for In-House IP Attorneys

5.  Emerging Markets

6.  Double Patenting

7.  Biosimilars

BIO Supports Patent Reform Act of 2011: Press Release

BIO Supports Patent Reform Act of 2011

Bipartisan, consensus-oriented approach will strengthen nation’s patent system

 

Washington, D.C. (January 28, 2011) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following comment on the introduction of the Patent Reform Act of 2011 (S. 23) by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) earlier this week:

“BIO appreciates the dedication of Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA) and the bill’s other cosponsors for their tireless efforts over the past several years to carefully craft bipartisan, consensus-oriented patent reform legislation.

“We believe the Patent Reform Act of 2011 will help strengthen and improve our nation’s patent system for all users while preserving the incentives necessary to spur the creation of high-wage, high-value jobs and sustain America’s global leadership in innovation.

“Innovation in biotechnology is based upon the strong and predictable protection of intellectual property provided by our nation’s patent system. Without strong and predictable patent protection, investors would shy away from investing hundreds of millions of dollars, over a decade or more, in high-risk biotechnology companies, and will simply put their money into projects or products that are less risky or offer a more immediate return but are of less value to society.

“The Patent Reform Act of 2011 would improve the patent system in ways that would benefit all sectors of the U.S. economy by enhancing patent quality and the efficiency, objectivity, predictability, and transparency of the patent system.  BIO remains steadfast in our commitment to work with the Chairman and members of the House and Senate as this legislation advances to ensure that the final bill remains true to these principles.”

About BIO

BIO represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtech Now, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtech Now.

Upcoming BIO Events

BIO CEO & Investor Conference
February 14-15, 2011
New York, NY

BIO-Europe Spring 2011
March 14-16, 2011
Milan, Italy

BIO Intellectual Property Counsels Committee Spring Conference and Committee Meeting
April 13-15, 2011
Seattle, WA

World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing
May 8-11
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

BIO International Convention
June 27-30, 2011
Washington, DC

2011 BIO Human Resources Conference
June 26-28, 2011
Washington, DC