Patent filings can be an indicator of what lies ahead for the pharmaceutical industry and by extension, what drugs will be available for healthcare systems around the world. Patent information suggests that drugs for treating rare diseases are getting intense research attention, and development of new antibiotics to treat widespread conditions is still in the midst of a "lost decade". The development of new classes of antibiotics is so low that a new U.K. report says the crisis in antibiotic resistance "has the potential to be catastrophic for human healthcare".
The 2015 Marks & Clerk Life Science Report
was released at BIO in Philadelphia last week and it found that less than five per cent of patents filed for antibiotic research since 2004 are for new classes of drugs.
Meanwhile research into treatment of rare diseases has much higher levels of patent filings and is recovering from the impact of the financial crisis with year-over-year increases.
The report also found that vaccine development and patent filings fell somewhere in the middle due in large part to government and public institutional R & D and regulatory incentives.
To look at some of the global details in the report I talked with Gareth Williams
, a Partner, and European Patent Attorney, with Marks & Clerk LLP.