Arecor fights off GSK to clinch key patent
Cambridge biopharma enterprise Arecor Therapeutics saw its share price zoom more than 10.5 per cent at the start of the week as a key vaccine patent was upheld at the expense of global giant GSK.
The decision helps Arecor further build on a strong patent portfolio protecting its proprietary Arestat™ technology.
Arecor’s European patent EP2457590 on polysaccharide vaccines was upheld following opposition appeal proceedings filed by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA at the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office.
As part of the Intellectual Property legislation in Europe, patents can be opposed by other companies, within a certain period of time following their formal grant.
The opposition process can result in the patent being revoked, amended or upheld in its original form. In accordance with this process, at an oral hearing, the Boards of Appeal – the final judicial instance in the procedures – considered an appeal filed by GSK in response to an earlier ruling in Arecor's favour and decided to throw it out.
Arecor's European patent EP2457590 protects novel compositions of a specific type of vaccines, called polysaccharide vaccines. Examples of polysaccharide vaccines are those that protect against meningitis or pneumonia.
Such products are known to degrade over time, leading to gradual loss of potency. Arecor says its novel compositions protected by this patent, prevent such degradation and enable the development of improved polysaccharide vaccines.
This includes more convenient dosage forms that can be used outside the cold chain – increasing the efficiency of immunisation coverage.
Arecor has invested in building a strong patent portfolio to protect the Arestat™ technology platform. Its IP portfolio already comprises 33 patent families, including >50 granted patents in Europe, the US and other key territories.
Dr Jan Jezek, chief scientific officer at Arecor, said: “The value of our Arestat technology platform is underpinned by a comprehensive patent portfolio built systematically around specific aspects of our technology, as well as the highly differentiated products enabled by our solution.
“Our success in the appeal hearing demonstrates the value and the strength of our innovative formulation science and associated IP.
“Polysaccharide vaccines represent an important class of vaccines for preventing infections such as meningitis or pneumonia. Our proprietary compositions enable formulating such vaccines in a way that simplifies their administration to patients.”