In this webinar, we will review new biological therapeutic approaches such as CAR-T cell therapies and the challenges they present for patent searchers. We will illustrate how new tools, such as GENESEQ on SequenceBase and Derwent Innovation, can be used to reduce the margin for error during the patent search process, greatly increasing the speed and accuracy of your search for engineered sequences and the assessment of freedom to operate and actual infringement risk.
In recent years, significant breakthroughs have been made in understanding the biological mechanisms that cause and maintain different cancers. As a result, innovative therapies have emerged as genuine alternatives to chemotherapy. One such approach, CAR-T cell therapy, was recently launched in the US and was named by ASCO as the oncology advance of the year at its annual meeting in June.
As with any innovation, it is essential to protect the IP and determine freedom-to-operate around the biological sequences used in these exciting new treatments. However, searching for sequences can be problematic for several reasons:
- Public sequence databases only include sequences from electronic listings, meaning sequences in figures and tables are missing
- BLAST searching is not reliable when it comes to finding variants of short sequences
- Sequence patents can be many hundreds or thousands of pages long and written in any language which makes it difficult (and costly if translations are required) to establish the relevance of a given sequence.
Due to these difficulties, important patent documents are often overlooked, which can potentially waste up to 30% of R&D expenditure as researchers have to duplicate work that has already been done(1). Even worse than wasted R&D expenditure though is the potential exposure to fines or litigation if there is no actual actually freedom to operate. According to the PwC 2018 Patent Litigation Study(2), median damages awarded in the pharma/biotech industry between 1998-2017 are in excess of $20 million.