Daily Archives: February 25, 2013

A Unitary Patent System for Europe

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
Unified PatentCurrent 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.

Round up of Life Science News – Feb 2013

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 RedundanciesStent for cardiac intervention
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.