Representing one of the final major steps towards the establishment of a unitary patent system for Europe, the Unified Patent Court Agreement was signed by the majority of EU Member States in Brussels last week (19 February 2013).
What is the Unified Patent Court Agreement?
This Agreement constitutes a package which also includes two EU Regulations: unitary patent protection; and, associated translation arrangements (adopted in December 2012). The package provides the legal basis for the future European Unitary Patent system – a system that has been a hot topic of discussion at European level for over thirty years.
The Unified Patent
Current practice requires that for a business or individual to confer legal protection to their intellectual property, an application for patent protection must be submitted centrally, through the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich. Once granted, the patent must be validated in each state in which protection is sought, a process that can involve significant costs due to translation and local validation fees.
Irish Biopharma Amarin kicks off sales in the US
Vascepa, a drug developed by Irish biopharma group Amarin, which gained FDA approval last July for the treatment dangerously high cholesterol, has gone on sale in the United States. Vascepa, essentially a purified omega-3 fish oil, marks a vindication for the company which came close to collapse at one point in the drug’s development. Vascepa reduces high triglyceride levels in the blood without causing elevations of LDL-C, the so-called “bad cholesterol.” GlaxoSmithKline’s competing fish-oil pill Lovaza also lowers triglycerides but at the expense of rising bad cholesterol. Amarin management has cautioned investors not to expect Vascepa to rocket out of the starting gate but the company is expecting significant success with the drug. By 2014, Amarin may have more of an advantage over GSK if FDA approves an expanded indication for Vascepa allowing the drug to be marketed for patients with high (as opposed to very high) triglyceride levels. Significant use in this larger patient population may not really ramp, however, until Amarin can prove that the combination of Vascepa and a statin reduces the incidence and risk of cardiovascular disease. An on-going study designed to demonstrate this benefit isn’t expected to be completed until 2016.
Abbott Vascular announced 200 Redundancies
Last week, medical devices firm Abbott Vascular in Clonmel announced that it is seeking 200 voluntary redundancies from its permanent workforce. Abbott’s vascular facility in Clonmel currently employs more than 1,400 people and manufactures drug eluting stents for the global market.
The end of the Summer is here *sigh*!
It’s been a great Summer in Life Science Towers, lots and lots of busy heads running around.
New jobs in this month are as usual, varied and quite specialised.
Richard is working hard on these role
Product Specialist (Nationwide) – Pharma. An ethical pharma company with a niche range of products in the blood transfusion market.
Key Account Manager (Europe). A role requiring previous experience in Blood Typing and Antibodies. The role can be based anywhere in Europe.
Eamonn always wants to hear from good Medical Science Liaisons. He also has a great industrial role for an experienced Medical Scientist and is seeking a Quality Manager for a Dublin hospital, amongst (many many) others!
UCC have also posted a Professor of Life Sciences role on the site.
Eamonn and I will be at the Connected Health conference on Thursday in Dundalk. It will be interesting to meet the other companies up there. This coincides with an article we’ve done on the topic which will be in the issue 3 2010 Life Science Review magazine. An intensely interesting area in which lot of great work is being done. We are also just about to press the green button on our specialised Connected Health site I’ve also started a Connected Health LinkedIn group, please do join up.
If you think we can help you in any way or you just want some advice, do give us a call. We like to talk
Crossing fingers for 2 more weeks of sunshine, that’ll make up for a mixed Summer so far…..
-Brian (bhc at lifescience dot it)