In October, the Chinese government released its intellectual proprietary (IP) patents strategy paper, listing its main goals for the next five years.

Part of that plan is to double the foreign “high value” patents from the current 40,000 to 90,000 by 2025.

In recent years, China’s top leaders have pushed for strengthened IP protection at an almost unprecedented scale.

In 2020 alone, 530,000 invention patents were authorised in China, and its total valid number of invention patents has now reached 2.2 million.

As a result, IP rights holders across sectors are enjoying stronger enforcement of their rights – benefiting both local and foreign companies.

It’s a bit ironic coming from a country that’s been accused of being one the biggest IP violators in the past.

But the new development has resulted in a deluge of foreign patent applicants in China, including those from Australia.

Biotech USCOM (ASX:UCM) was the latest ASX-listed company to have its patent application approved.

USCOM announced yesterday that its cardiac output monitoring technology was granted commercial protection in the country for the next 10 years.

Here’s a table of other ASX listed stocks that have been been approved a Chinese patent (list is not exhaustive).

Ticker Company Sector Market cap Current price ($)
RCE Recce Pharma Healthcare $161m $0.94
OCC Orthocell Healthcare $97m $0.51
IMM Immutep Healthcare $560m $0.66
HXL Hexima Healthcare $53m $0.13
UCM USCOM Healthcare $22m $0.14
RHY Rhythm Biosciences Healthcare $397m $1.90
VTI Visioneering Tech Healthcare $23m $1.02
OSX Osteopore Healthcare $29m $0.24
OPT Opthea Healthcare $442m $1.26
A3D Aurora Labs Industrials $20m $0.13
ZEO Zeotech Mining $157m $0.10
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The biotech sector

Clearly the biotech sector dominates the patent approvals for Australian companies in China.

Osteopore (ASX:OSX) 

Last week, this bone healing company was granted a patent in China for its ‘smart’ 3D biometric scaffolds.

The scaffolds are a biomimetic microstructure that promotes blood flow into the implant before inserting, and once in position, attract cells and blood vessels to facilitate bone growth.

The implants then naturally dissolve over a period of 18-24 months, leaving only natural healthy bone.

Immutep (ASSX:IMM)

Immutep was granted a Chinese patent last week, for its lead product candidate eftilagimod alpha (efti).

Efti is a soluble LAG-3 fusion protein, which is a first-in-class antigen-presenting cell activator being explored in cancer and infectious diseases.

The Chinese patent follows the previous grant of European, Japanese and US patents.

Opthea (ASX:OPT)

In October, the company was granted a patent in China for OPT-302, a drug used to improve vision in patients suffering from retinal eye diseases.

Other patents for covering OPT-302 have been granted in countries including Australia, US, and Japan.

Recce Pharma (ASX:RCE)

In July, Recce Pharma told investors that it has received a Chinese patent for its anti-viral drug, RECCE 327, following previous patents in Japan, Europe and the US.

Recce327 is a synthetic polymer, designed to target bacteria that cause infectious disease – including ones that are resistant to current antibiotics – the superbugs.

Orthocell (ASX:OCC)

In May, the company was granted patents for its novel CelGro collagen rope device in China and Hong Kong, protecting the technology until 2035.

CelGro is a collagen-based medical device platform technology used to augment tissue repair and regeneration. It’s manufactured using OCC’s proprietary SMRT tissue engineering process to preserve the natural collagen structure.

Hexima (ASX:HXL)

The company was granted a Chinese patent for its prescription topical treatment, pezadeftide (HXP124), to treat onychomycosis (a fungal infection of the nails that causes discolouration and separation from the nail bed).

Hexima has also completed its Phase I/IIa clinical trial of HXP124, recently presenting it at the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) meeting in Colorado.

Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY)

In 2019, a patent for ColoSTAT was granted in China, extending its patent holdings in Australia, Japan, Europe.

The ColoSTAT is a low-cost, simple blood test to early detect colorectal cancer, which is aimed at mass-market screening.

Visioneering Tech (ASX:VTI)

The company has since 2017 held a Chinese patent for the optical designs of its myopia progression control contact lens.

Its NaturalVue lenses were also cleared by the FDA in late 2014 for the correction of refractive errors.

The company has patents in other jurisdictions including Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.


Non-healthcare ASX stocks with Chinese patents

Aurora Labs (ASX:A3D)

The 3D-printing tech player was granted a patent in China in 2020, for its “MCP” 3D printing technology, making it the first country to grant a patent for the process.

The MCP (Multi-level Concurrent Printing) process is able to produce complex 10mm high titanium parts on a 200mm build plate in just 20 minutes.

This, Aurora says, has the potential to revolutionise the production of parts in a whole range of applications.

Zeotech (ASX:ZEO)

The company has not yet received a patent, but is gunning for patents all over the world (including China) for its novel mineral processing technology to manufacture synthetic zeolites.

The technology was developed by the University of Queensland.

Synthetic zeolites are manufactured aluminosilicate minerals with a sponge-like structure, and could play an important role in a clean tech and renewable energy applications.

As lithium battery demand grows, for example, it’s anticipated the lithium refinery sector will produce significant amounts of leached spodumene residue, so those refineries will be looking for tailings management solutions that could be resolved with zeolites.


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At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Osteopore and Zeotech are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.