- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week announced the creation of a pilot program aimed at expediting the patent review process for cancer therapies.
- Under the new program, called Patents 4 Patients, the Patent Office plans to process patent applications related to cancer therapies in under 12 months, as well as waive fast-tracking fees.
- Announced at Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot Summit, the pilot program will remain active for one year, after which point the USPTO may extend and modify the program.
The Patent Offices estimates it receives approximately 900 cancer immuno-therapy applications annually. "Patents for Patients" will accelerate the intellectual property protection process so new cancer immunotherapies can reach the clinics as soon as possible.
The initiative is open to any applicant, including biotech firms, pharmaceutical companies, and universities. Current filings may also opt into the program at any point.
“By harnessing the power of patent data, and accelerating the process for protecting the intellectual property undergirding cancer immunotherapy breakthroughs, the USPTO is standing up and doing its part to help bring potentially life-saving treatments to patients, faster," said Michelle Lee, director of the Patent Office.
A number of other projects were announced at the Cancer Moonshot Summit including the National Cancer Institute's planned collaboration with between 20 and 30 biopharma companies to discover new uses for existing cancer meds. The Department of Veteran Affairs' also unveiled a collaboration with IBM Watson to expand the agency's precision medicine efforts.