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Is it Patentable?
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   new medical drug applications
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   Author  Topic: new medical drug applications  (Read 705 times)
mike partton
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new medical drug applications
« on: Aug 26th, 2005, 12:08am »
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I am a medical doctor with a background in research and drug design.  Recently, I came across a new pathway that was discovered for an older drug (that is now generic).  To make a long story short, I have reasonable proof that this drug, designed to protect the heart, can be used to treat cancer.  Based on comments made under the prior thread of  
 
“Patent an existing product for a different use”
 
I believe this clearly fits under the definition you gave of:
 
“Any new and non-obvious ("inventive") use of pre-existing things is patentable.  Any new and non-obvious ("inventive") modifications to an existing thing is also patentable.”
 
So my questions are:
 
1) What is my next step to get this patented??
2) How much would it cost??
3) How would I make money on this patent given that the drug is already generic??
 
Thank you!!
mike
 
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JimIvey
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Re: new medical drug applications
« Reply #1 on: Aug 26th, 2005, 11:36am »
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First, a big-time caveat:  pharmaceutical practice is a specialty onto its own, and I'm not even moderately experienced in it.
 
on Aug 26th, 2005, 12:08am, mike partton wrote:
1) What is my next step to get this patented??

With all due respect to the garage inventor building a better toilet seat, pharmaceutical patents are generally not the kind you can sort of whip up yourself over a weekend.  I would wager substantial sums that you're going to need a good professional practitioner with substantial experience in pharmaceutical practice.  That's probably the best place to start.
 
You may also need some very serious research.  A recent case suggested that clinical trials are required for "enablement" and therefore for valid and enforceable patent rights.  The loser in that case was a university without sufficient research resources to make a valid pharmaceutical patent.  Since universities tend to have more resources than many companies, let alone individuals, it seems that the requisite resources for an enforceable pharmaceutical patent are quite great.  That appears to suggest that only a very few applicants could ever get pharmaceutical patents in the US since very few entities would have sufficient resources to do the requisite research.  
 
Of course, there are others here who seem to understand that case and pharmaceutical practice generally who can say more about that.
 
on Aug 26th, 2005, 12:08am, mike partton wrote:
2) How much would it cost??

A lot!  (see above).  
 
on Aug 26th, 2005, 12:08am, mike partton wrote:
3) How would I make money on this patent given that the drug is already generic??

Your patent would not be for the drug itself but for using it to treat cancer (or perhaps specific types of cancer).  A new and non-obvious use of a pre-existing (not new) product is patentable.
 
I hope that helps.
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ChrisWhewell
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Re: new medical drug applications
« Reply #2 on: Aug 30th, 2005, 10:31pm »
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I've successfully drafted and prosecuted a couple pharmaceutical composition patents, and am currently working with a drug developer to get a third commercialized.  My expertise is in chemistry; drugs are compositions.  Obtaining claims for methods of their administration can be valuable in addition to the composition claims.
 
Not only will you need to get a patent application on file, but you will need to have some testing done.   Drug companies are always looking for new candidates.  You're in a good field; however, the overall success rate is not very favorable from a statistical standpoint.  If you can afford to part with a few thousand dollars gamble on having an application prepared and filed, it might net you some $.  In this business, money is exchanged for milestones, and getting an application on file is definitely a milestone.   Showing efficacy and entering into an agreement to have someone evaluate it from a finance perspective (NPV, based on projected financials) is #2.  Royalties in pharmaceuticals are sometimes as high as 20%, which is much higher than for consumer products.
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Chris Whewell, M.S.
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