Biologics and its landscape in Canada: The pharmaceutical industry is currently a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow each year. In Canada, biologics (or biologic drugs) make up about 14% of drug spending at a cost of $3 billion a year. With the expiration of many key patents for top-selling biologics in recent years, the interest in producing ‘generic’ biologics (or “biosimilars”) has increased. Even if you are not concerned about inventing around existing patents, it may still be useful to know how biologics are classified by the Patent Office and the fact that the existence of biosimilars in the drug market significantly lowers the cost of these relatively expensive drugs.
“CRISPR” is often heralded as the breakthrough medical technology of the decade that will revolutionize the biotech and healthcare industry. However, the technology is currently in the midst of a longstanding IP ownership war between MIT/Harvard’s Broad Institute and the University of California-Berkeley. Although this war is between two U.S. entities, there are far-reaching implications for anybody who wishes to use CRISPR, such as the many Canadian researchers and scientists who are eager to accelerate their own research.
What is the value of a secret? The value of some secrets is in their disclosure to the highest bidder, like celebrity gossip and paparazzi photos. Other secrets have a functional value which can be realized indefinitely, like the recipe for Coca-Cola, or a secret manufacturing process that is more efficient than the competitors’. What all secrets have in common, though, is that they lose their value the moment they are inadvertently disclosed.
The value of a secret is in its exploitation. This can be accomplished in two ways: by keeping the secret a secret (and utilizing it), or by disclosing it to someone in exchange for something.
Financial ripples from a successful, London-led business development initiative in Asia may soon be felt across the province.
In 2011, WORLDiscoveries Asia – a partnership among Western University, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute – became Canada’s first technology transfer initiative to establish a physical presence in China, as it opened offices in Hong Kong and, eventually, Nanjing, which is London’s ‘sister city.’
Supported by $300,000 from the Ontario government, the initiative has now grown to the point of leveraging its expertise to promote, facilitate and manage technology-based alliances with Asian organizations as a service to other research institutions, NGOs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the province.
Secrecy is an important part of protecting your intellectual property. As we have discussed previously in “The first rule of inventor fight club…” and “Publishing and patenting“, maintaining the secrecy of your inventions is pivotal to acquiring a patent. In the case of trade secrets, the secrecy itself is the only thing that is maintaining your trade secret’s value. However, sometimes you need to be able to share your secret with others – such as researchers at another institution or external developers. How can you do that without endangering your secret and the future patentability of your invention?
Offsite – With nearly 300 guests in attendance, health research was celebrated at the fourth annual Lawson Impact Awards on Wednesday, April 19 at the London Convention Centre.
The Lawson Impact Awards celebrates hospital-based research that makes a difference by advancing scientific knowledge and applying it directly to patient care. With awards in seven categories, the annual event honours Lawson scientists, staff, trainees and partners who demonstrate excellence.
Matt Parkes handles a bleach-white model of a skull, held together by what looks like steel plates fastened around its eye socket.
It is a model of a skull rebuilt after a massive car crash. Parkes, the technical manager at Adeiss, London’s newest medical devices company, credits the plates with enabling the rebuilding of the face and the life of the person to whom it belongs.
Now, that technology is available in London. Adeiss will be unveiled at a news conference today as a new business that will provide 3D printing solutions to the health-care sector, including surgeons who need a plate for a skull fracture.
Three Western students reflected their best work in developing a winning commercialization strategy for a mirror box used in lower-extremity therapy, earning them one of the top spots in the annual Proteus Innovation Competition.
The competition – a partnership between WORLDiscoveries, TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, Propel Entrepreneurship at Western, LEAP Junction at Fanshawe College and Western Research Park – brings together students to compete in finding a viable path to market for close-to-commercialization technologies assigned to WORLDiscoveries. All the technologies were developed by Western researchers.
Esther Lau, along with Ashley Hannon and Solmaz Karamdoust, teamed up to take on the intense four-month commercialization challenge.