Saturday, 18 June 2016

UAE - UAEU licences patents to US pharma business

News in Gulf News (here) of the licensing of four patents to US pharma business, BioLegend.

The report reads: "UAE University (UAEU) has signed a licensing agreement with global US-based pharmaceutical company BioLegend, which will see four of the university’s developed patents being used to help detect Parkinson’s disease, an official from the university told Gulf News.

The development is a big step in line with UAE’s vision of a knowledge-based economy, and also sends a positive message on the contributions that can be made from the Arab world in the fields of science and medicine.

“Researchers from our College of Medicine have been working for 10 years on developing a new method to diagnose Parkinson’s disease using antibodies that were produced in our laboratories. After successful research results, we filed a patent for our findings, with a lot of companies around the world showing interest in our studies,” said Mohammad Al Hemairy, head of Patents and Technology Transfer at UAEU.

“BioLegend is a multinational pharmaceutical company that is working to manufacture therapeutic and diagnostic tools for neurology diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzhemiers among others. We entered discussions and negotiations with them for over a year until we reached terms that we both agreed on.

“The agreement grants BioLegend access to our intellectual property and patents for the next 10 years — allowing them to utilise our research findings to develop a commercial product for the market,” Al Hemairy added.

Commenting on the specifics of the research findings and the antibodies they produced, Al Hemairy said: “In simple terms, these antibodies have features that able them to carry messages to the nerve cells in the brain, after which they will form a cluster. This cluster can then be detected by a CT scan, which will allow doctors to identify the affected cells that are being damaged by Parkinson’s.”

Al Hemairy spoke positively on the magnitude of the patent agreements with BioLegend, and said it sets a new precedent for the university and the UAE.

“This is something very unique and novel — here we have a major company like BioLegend, who are based in the US and are worth billions of dollars, coming and seeking knowledge from the UAE,” he said.

“We have produced a technology that we are exporting to the outside world. We are contributing towards resolving and finding a diagnosis that is very much needed, and so there is a humanitarian dimension and benefit to what we are doing,” he added.

Speaking on the time frame for the planned commercialisation of the patents by BioLegend, Al Hemairy said that it would take roughly 18 months.

“Before BioLegend can send it to the manufacturing stage, there needs to be some tests for proof of concept — this is to basically prove that the findings do work and are safe to be used. After this is done, they will get the approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to manufacture the medication and drug,” said Al Hemairy.""

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