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May 28, 2009
Deuterated Drugs: The PTO Says OK, So Far
As a follow-up to the deuterated-drugs idea, I note (courtesy of a co-worker) that Concert Pharmaceuticals has press-released their first issued patents on deuterated analogs of existing drugs.
So apparently the novelty and utility requirements have passed the first major sniff tests. I don't know if the case to be made for these (rimonabant and mosapride) is different than the others that Concert has on their IP assembly line, but I doubt it. If these issued, you'd figure that the others probably will, too. I can't imagine that the rimonabant patent's going to be worth all that much, though, since that drug has failed for reasons that I can't see being addressed by a deuterium analog.
As mentioned here before, though, the IP space here seems to be rather crowded, at least when you look at the number of applications. It's presumably quite a traffic jam at the patent offices - and it'll presumably be some time before that gets sorted out. And that's just at this stage of the game: if any of the companies in this space start to hit it big, it wouldn't surprise me to see lawsuits, requests for re-examination and the like.
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