Monday, January 15, 2007

Drug reformulation and patents

On drugs and patents, the magazine Drug Discovery and Development (New Jersey) states:

"If you approach reformulation solely focused on patent protection, that's not the right approach," says Art Tipton, PhD, president and CEO of Brookwood Pharmaceuticals, Birmingham, Ala. "You need to be thinking about what you can do to improve the existing drug to make it a better product." With approval rates for new medications declining, research spending in 2005 reached an all-time high, but new chemical entity approvals were down 55%–many pharmaceutical companies are looking to the reformulation market as a smart, strategic way to balance their portfolios. Much of the discussion about reformulation is couched in the language of patent protection–when a drug is about to go off-patent, what can you do to protect the franchise? But successful reformulations take a far more strategic approach.

Of nanotechnology and drugs--> Elan uses its NanoCrystal technology to improve by as much as 600% the bioavailability of compounds that dissolve poorly in water. The drugs are still taken orally, but the difference in ease of use is dramatic, with lower required dosage, smaller and more convenient dosage forms, and faster rates of absorption.

On potatoes and patents:

A coalition of indigenous peoples in the Andes warn that Syngenta's patents are a signal they plan to commercialise ‘Terminator technology’.

One concern for the Peruvian indigenous communities is that the Terminator potatoes will contaminate local varieties and destroy their traditions of storing and exchanging potato tubers for future planting. With "Terminator" seeds are made infertile after the first planting; with "Verminator" the plants won't grow at all unless a chemical is used to activate them.


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