Patent landscaping provides a visual and informative way to gauge the extent of activity of patenting in a particular technology area, in this instance IP Pragmatics have looked into the patent landscape in the relatively small area of Ebola vaccines.
Ebola has been the focus on increasing research and development in light on the epidemic outbreak of the disease in West Africa in 2014. Whilst the outbreak is now over, there remains a need for a vaccine that can prevent further outbreaks of the deadly disease. As with all vaccine there are a number of platform delivery technologies being investigated. In terms of patenting activity, there has been a steady increasing the rate of filings over the past 10 years, with the US Health department being the applicant with the highest number of applications. When cross referencing the patent landscape with the pipeline for Ebola vaccine in trials, the leading delivery technologies are adenovirus vectors, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vectors and virus-like particles (VLP). Of these adenovirus vectors has the highest level of patenting activity and has increased at sharp rate over the last 5 years.
The area has high activity amongst large pharmaceutical companies including Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson, all of whom have either working in collaboration or acquired their lead assets from The area has also seen a number of interesting deals in the space including that of the VSV-EBOV vaccine which is was originally patented by Public Health Agency of Canada who granted a license to NewLink Genetics reportedly for $200,000 and no ongoing royalties. NewLink Genetics have in turn exclusively sub-licenced the technology to Merck for a reported upfront payment of $30 million and ongoing royalties for sales outside of Africa.
The full report is available to download here.
If you have any questions about the report or if you would like any further information, please contact Rebecca Ashton.