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Survival Tools to Protect Biotechnological Innovation in the Wake of Mayo, Myriad, and Alice
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LES St. Louis Chapter Meeting

When: Thursday, February 5, 2015
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Where: Thompson Coburn LLP One US Bank Plaza
505 North 7th Street
St. Louis, Missouri  63101
United States

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 
11:30 PM – 1:00 PM

Survival Tools to Protect Biotechnological Innovation in the Wake of Mayo, Myriad, and Alice

Elizabeth J. Haanes, PhD, JD, Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP 

Biotechnological innovations, both in industry and academia, have resulted in scores of lifesaving products and methods. More recent developments are literally transforming the way many serious diseases such as cancer are treated. Advances include the discovery and use of biomarkers, companion diagnostics, and autologous cell therapies (engineering or stimulating a patient’s own cells to fight a disease or condition, and then returning the cells to the patient). These advances will not only improve the efficacy and safety of patient treatment, but also will also reduce the costs associated with innovative new treatments, because only those patients who are likely to benefit from a given treatment will receive it. These advances, however, require enormous monetary investments by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, which the companies will make only if there is a possibility of return on the investment—a possibility provided by patent protection. 

For at least 35 years, the patent system has supported and incentivized biotechnological innovation by providing limited time exclusivity rights for isolated nucleic acid and proteins, new methods of treatment and diagnosis, and engineered microorganisms, plants, and animals. Congress and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have demonstrated clear intent that biotechnological subject matter should be eligible for patent protection. But in the last few years, United States Supreme Court has set a new course. The holdings in Mayo v. Prometheus, Assn. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank severely limit the scope of patent-eligible subject matter in ways that have severely undercut the biotechnology and biopharma industries. This presentation will explore these cases and will review the most recent reactions in lower courts and in the USPTO. More importantly, the presentation will provide strategies and tactics for ways stakeholders in the biotechnology and biopharma industries can continue to protect innovations under the new regime.

Thompson Coburn LLP will apply for CLE credits for Illinois and Missouri

Thompson Coburn LLP
One US Bank Plaza (505 North 7th Street)
St. Louis, Missouri 63101

Parking is in the US Bank Plaza parking garage (immediately north of 7th Street on Washington Avenue). If full, proceed east on Washington, turn right onto 6th Street, right onto Locust Street, and right on 7th Street to the 7th Street parking garage. Bring your parking stub to the meeting for validation.

No Fee for attending. Lunch will be provided.

Online Registration Deadline: January 30, 2015

Dr. Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Haanes advises biotechnology companies on best practices for the worldwide protection of their intellectual property. As an accomplished scientist with a PhD in microbiology, Dr. Haanes speaks the same language as today’s biotech innovators. For more than 15 years, she has helped these innovators protect their technology assets even in the face of recent court opinions that have posed significant challenges to patent holders.

Dr. Haanes has lectured and written extensively on the problem of patent eligibility for innovations in the areas of biomarkers, medical diagnostics, and personalized medicine. She co-authored an article in the journal Nature Biotechnology discussing the impact of the US Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Mayo v. Prometheus. She also co-wrote an amicus brief in Merck v. Integra, a landmark US Supreme Court case focusing on the patent infringement safe harbor for drug development research.

Her complete bio can be found at http://www.thompsoncoburn.com/people/find-a-professional/elizabeth-haanesphd.aspx