Friday, July 21, 2006

Let the nanotech patent games begin

Attention patent lawyers: Is this the first wave of the nanotech lawyer invasion? Initial nanopharma products will be reformulations of existing drugs.

Elan Sues Abraxis Bioscience for Patent Infringement on Cancer Drug (AP)

Irish drug maker Elan Corp. has accused rival Abraxis Bioscience Inc. of infringing its patents by selling the breast cancer treatment Abraxane.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in a Delaware federal court says Abraxane, a nano-particle formulation of paclitaxel, trespasses on two patents issued in the 1990s that cover methods of formulating anticancer drugs.

Abraxis is a Los Angeles-based biopharmaceutical company formed by the merger of American Pharmaceutical Partners and American BioScience. It recorded $134 million in Abraxane sales in 2005, the first year the drug was approved as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer. More here

I wrote about Abraxane for The Scientist last year. Searching through my files, I just noticed an odd coincidence. It looks like a writer from The Times of London and I think so much alike, we use practically the same wording -- poor sod.

My wording:

Marketed by American Pharmaceutical Partners, Abraxane is the anticancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol), reengineered and reborn into a nanoparticle that hitches a ride on albumin, a protein already found in the body. Patrick Soon-Shiong, American Pharmaceutical's executive chair, says this is the first example of a nanoparticle-coupled human protein. The albumin molecule allows paclitaxel to cross blood-vessel walls to deliver the drug to where it's needed. More here

The Times' wording:

The breast cancer drug Abraxane, recently approved in America, is actually the existing anti-cancer drug Taxol re-engineered into a nanoparticle. This hitches a ride on the protein albumin, which is already in the body, and allows the drug to cross blood-vessel walls to the cancer. More here

Song of Soon-Shiong
Abraxane again
A Spoonful of Nano
Nanoparticles clobber cancer with sneak attack

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