June 24, 2020 — In addition to the development of vaccines against the novel coronavirus, research currently focuses on drugs that are already approved or in development for other diseases. In particular, antiviral drugs developed against Influenza, SARS or MERS are in numerous clinical trials worldwide. The aim is to prove a possible therapeutic effect in the treatment of COVID-19.
As soon as the approval procedure for a potential drug has been successful, the drug must be rapidly manufactured and distributed worldwide. It is essential to take existing industrial property rights into account and, if necessary, to conclude appropriate license agreements. Questions regarding the current patent situation, e.g., regarding the rights holders or the duration of the remaining patent protection in different countries, must be answered clearly and in good time.
Using the example of the drug Avigan (active agent: Favipiravir), which was developed against bird flu and Ebola, the case study by FIZ Karlsruhe demonstrates how these questions can be answered by means of an extensive search in STN patent databases. A major challenge is to reliably determine the legal status of the respective patents.
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