Special report: Regenerative medicine company Regeneus has landed an all-important US patent for its key treatment Progenza — an anti-inflammatory therapy that can be made for a mass market from a single person’s stem cells.

Securing a patent in the US is important as it gives Regeneus commercial rights over the composition and use of Progenza until 2032.

Regeneus (ASX:RGS) already has granted patents over Progenza in Australia and Japan — a key market for the company — as it continues to develop the treatment for osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal diseases.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) says it’s important for biotechs in particular to patent their work.

“We are delighted with the allowance of the Progenza patent for the US,” said Regeneus CEO John Martin.

“The US is one of the hardest markets in the world to get a granted patent and we were pleased that the breadth of the claims is similar to Australia and Japan.

“We know that a granted US patent will open up partnering opportunities for us.  Our research is reinforcing the advantages of the combination of stem cells and secretions.”

Creating drugs from scratch is a costly business in terms of research and time with companies spending often between 40 to 50 per cent of revenue on research and development.

Once they’ve put in the hard yards developing a drug, it can be cheap and easy for rivals to reverse-engineer it — which is why companies are given patents so they can benefit from their work for a period of time.

For many ASX-listed biotech small caps in Australia, intellectual property is the product.

Once that’s achieved, licensing another company to take the research further or market it is an established route to commercialisation.

Regeneus is looking to do both with Progenza and is now in talks with “several interested parties in Japan” around licensing.

As an example of how valuable licensing can be, in December 2016 Regeneus granted global biopharmaceutical manufacturer AGC the exclusive rights to make Progenza for all clinical applications in Japan.

In the December half-year that yielded a tidy $7.6 million in revenue.

Regeneus has more than 70 patents or patent applications on the go. Its product pipeline includes a cancer vaccine and a topical cream for adult acne.


This special report is brought to you by Regeneus.

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