The recent Supreme Court decision in Regeneron v Kymab has highlighted the risk-reward dynamic that exists for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that seek patent protection for innovations early in the discovery process. The court found that if a claimed patent monopoly defines a whole range of products, all of the products within the 'relevant range' must be appropriately enabled by the patent specification. This decision is of great importance to the biotechnology and wider life sciences sector.
The current circumstances are unsettling for many reasons, not least because there is still no approved vaccination or treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Reflecting the collaborative approach recently called for by the European Medicines Agency, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has indicated that it stands ready to support researchers, manufacturers and other regulators to develop medicinal products to fight and prevent the spread of COVID-19.