Monthly Archives: November 2010

“Patent Expirations Will Stabilize the Pharmaceutical Industry.”

I must believe it, because I’m quoted in the St. Louis Observer as having said it!

The reporter did a good job of capturing what I meant, quoting me as saying “the industry will be more diverse, with a more stable, though smaller, revenue base spread among many more products.”

To expand, I think that the loss of patents on some of the larger brands will mean that the pharmaceutical industry will rely on a larger number of smaller-market products for the lion’s share of its revenues. The loss of marketing exclusivity on drugs like Lipitor, Nexium, and Plavix will mean that drug companies will need to derive their revenues from a greater number of products. While this might be bad for Pfizer, Astrazeneca, and Sanofi Aventis, the overall result should be a healthier, less volatile, pharmaceutical industry.

The November 2010 issue of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology is now available. The links below will take you to the abstract for each paper:

Volume 16, Issue 4


For success in biotechnology, look beyond biotechnology PDF
Yali Friedman


Federal bureaucrats slip on oil spill PDF
Henry I Miller


R&D spending and sources of funding of private US biopharmaceutical firms seeking to go public PDF
David R Williams, Richard W Pouder
Algae and Biodiesel: Patenting energized as green goes commercial PDF
Matthew R Preiss, Stanley P Kowalski
Biotechnology industry-physician interaction and OIG guidelines: Evidence from the stock market PDF
Thani Jambulingam, WaQar Ghani, Rajneesh Sharma
Exploratory assessment of the current EU regulatory framework for development of advanced therapies PDF
Pawanbir Singh, Laure Brévignon-Dodin, Satya P Dash
Patenting of microorganisms: Systems and concerns PDF
Ramkumar Balachandra Nair, Pratap Chandran Ramachandranna

Legal and Regulatory Updates

Legal and Regulatory Update PDF
Gerry Kamstra
The aftermath of Bilski PDF
Thomas C Meyers, Adam M Schoen
Commentary regarding decision in Bilski from a biotech perspective PDF
Thomas J Kowalski, Heidi E Lunasin, Deborah L Lu, Brian M McGuire, Frank J DeRosa

Book Reviews

Book Review: Biodesign: The process of innovating medical technologies PDF
Randall Tagg, Catalina Bravo

Drug Patent Expirations in November 2010

*Drugs may be covered by multiple patents

Tradename Applicant Generic Name Patent Number Patent Expiration
SAMSCA Otsuka America Pharm tolvaptan 5,258,510 Nov 2, 2010
TRUVADA Gilead emtricitabine; tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 5,210,085*PED Nov 11, 2010
COZAAR Merck losartan potassium 5,210,079*PED Nov 11, 2010
EMTRIVA Gilead emtricitabine 5,210,085*PED Nov 11, 2010
ATRIPLA Gilead efavirenz; emtricitabine; tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 5,210,085*PED Nov 11, 2010
TAXOTERE Sanofi Aventis Us docetaxel 4,814,470*PED Nov 14, 2010
GEMZAR Lilly gemcitabine hydrochloride 4,808,614*PED Nov 15, 2010
RAPAMUNE Wyeth Pharms Inc sirolimus 5,212,155*PED Nov 18, 2010
FORTOVASE Hoffmann La Roche saquinavir 5,196,438 Nov 19, 2010
INVIRASE Hoffmann La Roche saquinavir mesylate 5,196,438 Nov 19, 2010
INVIRASE Roche saquinavir mesylate 5,196,438 Nov 19, 2010
VITRAVENE PRESERVATIVE FREE Novartis fomivirsen sodium 5,264,423 Nov 23, 2010
PEPCID AC Merck Sharp Dohme famotidine 5,075,114*PED Nov 23, 2010
PEPCID COMPLETE Merck Sharp Dohme calcium carbonate; famotidine; magnesium hydroxide 5,075,114*PED Nov 23, 2010
ADALAT CC Bayer Hlthcare nifedipine 5,264,446 Nov 23, 2010
PROCARDIA XL Pfizer nifedipine 5,264,446 Nov 23, 2010
ARICEPT ODT Eisai Inc donepezil hydrochloride 4,895,841 Nov 25, 2010
ARICEPT Eisai Inc donepezil hydrochloride 4,895,841 Nov 25, 2010
HYCAMTIN Smithkline Beecham topotecan hydrochloride 5,004,758*PED Nov 28, 2010
BUTRANS Purdue Pharma Lp buprenorphine 5,240,711 Nov 28, 2010

This information is also available in an email newsletter: Subscribe to the DrugPatentWatch Patent Expiration Bulletin. Courtesy of

I’ve just had a paper published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, using data from DrugPatentWatch to profile the locations of drug1-global-trends-in-drug-inventorship invention for the past decade.

The location of drug development is important for two reasons. Firstly, it is important to track the global spread of innovation. Much late stage drug development (e.g. clinical trials) and manufacturing have moved to lower wage-cost countries, but trends in the location of invention has not been clearly described. Knowing where drug invention is occurring can help streamline drug development by identifying ideal locations for research facilities. Secondly it is important to know where invention is occurring, because that may affect which drugs are developed. Early-stage research funding and, by extension, the research itself, is likely to be focused on conditions affecting the countries in which these activities are occurring. For example, research in the United States might focus on conditions such as heart disease and stroke, whereas research in Japan might emphasize stomach cancer.

By examining the patents covering drugs developed over the last decade, I was able to ascertain the locations of the inventors. Focusing on inventors is important because it gives a clear indication of where the control of the invention was located. Patents are required to list the names and locations of the individual(s) who maintained intellectual domination of the invention. Failure to list all inventors, or listing too many inventors, can yield an invalid patent. Whereas one might consider assessing globalization of invention by focusing on the location of the company funding the research, or the company listed on the patent, these strategies are flawed. The company funding the research may not be the same company which conducted the research (e.g. Japanese companies funded many of the early US biotechnology companies, but the inventions occurred in the US by US researchers, so focusing on the funder might produce the incorrect conclusion that the innovation was Japan-based), and many companies have facilities in multiple countries, making it impossible to determine in which of the countries an invention might have occurred. Looking at the company listed on a patent is also flawed. The company listed on a patent might not have been the company that housed the researchers or, even worse, it may be a tax shelter based in a country where no invention occurred. So, by focusing on the locations of the listed inventors it is possible to determine where the invention occurred. An additional benefit of this strategy is that it enables inclusion of patenters from numerous countries. For example for a patent listing one US-based and two Canadian inventors, the US would be given 1/3 credit for an invention, and Canada 2/3 credit.

So, what did I find? In short, the US and the legacy pharmaceutical countries in Europe (United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France and Switzerland) have been responsible for the bulk of new drugs invented over the past decade, and there is no indication that this dominance is waning. Emerging economies such as India and China were largely absent. For more details, please see the paper at Nature Reviews Drug Discovery: Location of pharmaceutical innovation: 2000–2009.

You can also get more detailed information on the complete set of drug inventors and where they live in my Global Drug Patent Inventor Report and Individual Country Drug Patent Inventor Reports.

What do you think of the findings? Are you surprised? Do you disagree? Sound off in the comments.