Why IP matters in the COVID-19 fight

July 17, 2020
Before logging off for the weekend, here are 643 words (around 3 minutes) on a global business coalition’s letter on IP protection as well as a look at how one biotech is making headway on its plastic recycling technology.
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Before logging off for the weekend, here are 643 words (around 3 minutes) on a global business coalition’s letter on IP protection as well as a look at how one biotech is making headway on its plastic recycling technology.

Why IP matters in the COVID-19 fight

Some of the world’s largest national business associations signed an open letter to government leaders urging support for strong intellectual property protections and partnerships necessary to deliver needed COVID-19 solutions. 

Signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business associations from several countries, the letter urges government leaders to remove obstacles to innovation access, maintain strong IP protections, and encourage smart global collaboration through existing technology licensing models.   

Specifically, the letter asks governments to focus on:

  1. Maintaining strong, clear, and predictable protections of intellectual property like patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights, which have “enabled the rapid private sector response to the pandemic.”
  2. Removing trade barriers, including “unnecessary regulatory requirements, taxes, tariffs, export bans, stockpiling, and distribution burdens.”
  3. Keeping working systems in place and avoiding creating new ones, because intellectual property is already “being licensed efficiently and expeditiously between private parties.”

What they’re saying: “Intellectual property will be the foundation of every vaccine, treatment, and cure we mobilize; it’s critical that we nurture those foundations, not uproot them,” said Patrick Kilbride, SVP of the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Why it matters: Businesses of all sizes, especially biopharmas, “have assumed great business risk with no assurance that they will be able to recoup this extraordinary expenditure of time and resources,” the letter says. By protecting IP and supporting public-private partnerships and collaboration, businesses will be able to continue this critical work—and lead the world out of this crisis.

 

More Health Care News:

Biopharma Dive: J&J, on the cusp of starting coronavirus vaccine trials, sets high bar for success
“The timeline, set out by J&J's top scientist Paul Stoffels on a Thursday call with investors, is sped up from initial expectations laid out by the company and could enable the drugmaker to deliver preliminary Phase 3 results by the end of this year or early next.”

 
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This company has a solution for recycling single-use plastic

Biotech company Anellotech Inc. announced a new joint venture to develop their technology to recycle single-use plastics and reduce emissions—yet another innovative biotech solution to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. 

Anellotech Inc. is a sustainable technology company based in New York that developed Plas-TCat, a technology for recycling “difficult-to-recycle plastics,” reports Plastics Today

R Plus Japan, a new joint-venture company between 12 partners in Japan’s plastic supply chain, will provide funding with the goal of commercializing the technology by 2027.

How does the technology work? Plas-TCat “uses a one-step thermal-catalytic process to convert single-use plastics directly into basic chemicals” for new plastics, like aromatics and olefins, while reducing the emissions and energy consumption of the plastic supply chain.

Can you give me an example? Anellotech has worked with the beverage company Suntory to make plastic aromatics from pine wood biomass, to make 100% plant-based PET water bottles. With the latest announcement, Anellotech will leverage and adapt the technology to industrial scale.

What they’re saying: “The significance of chemical recycling is its ability to transform and convert plastic waste into its original chemical components, to eventually produce new plastics. Turning used plastic into secondary raw materials enables the sustainable use of resources for various industries across the plastics supply chain. Through the development of this innovative technology, we hope to contribute to solving the global plastic waste issue, which has long been a challenge due to its difficulties in recycling,” explained Tsunehiko Yokoi, CEO of R Plus Japan.

 
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President Trump’s Friday: Welcoming new foreign ambassadors to Washington. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Leadership’s still trying to make headway on the next coronavirus package before the August recess, with Senate Republicans expected to release a $1 trillion package next week, per POLITICO. Meanwhile, today, the House Science Subcommittee on Energy will host a hearing, From Lab to Market: Accelerating Our Progress Toward Economic Recovery and a Clean Energy Future.

 

 
 
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