Today GoINPHARMA™ meets Dr. Yali Friedman Publisher of DrugPatentWatch.com
Yali Friedman holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Buffalo. Yali started his career in biotechnology media in 1999, and then in 2002 he founded DrugPatentWatch.com . Dr. Friedman is also publisher of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and author of Building Biotechnology, which is used as a course text in dozens of biotechnology programs. He also serves as head of data analytics for Scientific American Custom Media, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American. Yali lives in Washington DC.
GoINPHARMA™: Dr. Friedman, why don’t we start from DrugPatentWatch? What is the platform you have created back in 2002 and what has been the journey so far?
Dr. Yali Friedman: DrugPatentWatch stems from my work developing the first blog on the business of biotechnology. Those were the days before advanced search engines, and many of my readers were asking me if I knew of any sources for information on drug patent expirations. Realizing that there was an unmet market need, I spent several months studying the problem and developed a prototype website to deliver the information. Now, more than a decade later, DrugPatentWatch has grown substantially in scope, and serves customers in dozens of countries globally.
GoINPHARMA™: Let’s focus on the Pharma and biotech sectors, how do you see the business environment in US and how would you compare it with Europe.
Dr. Yali Friedman: DrugPatentWatch focuses on regulatory incentives, including patents, so I will address your question by comparing these. Both Europe and the United States have means to help companies recover time spent waiting for regulatory approval. In the US the Hatch-Waxman Act permits patent term restoration, and in EU countries supplementary protection certificates accomplish a similar objective. Some key differences are in the targeted incentives in the US. The Neglected Tropical Disease Vouchers, for example, reward companies for developing specific treatments. Likewise, the GAIN Act provides FDA incentives for developing antibiotics. So, while some companies favor certain regulatory aspects in Europe, there are other compelling elements in the US. I see these differences as a positive thing, as it encourages diversity in developmental approaches.
GoINPHARMA™: and now we would like to have your opinion on a very important topic for the pharma industry: IP & patents. What is the situation right now, what is the most active sector in terms of patents filed? Who are the most active companies when it comes to patents?
Dr. Yali Friedman: I actually recently developed a set of hundreds of infographics answering questions such as these. You can see the infographics at http://www.DrugPatentWatch.com/trends. For some specific examples, Novartis is the company which has the most patents, Mylan has the most drugs, and the most popular patented dosages forms are tablets, injectables, and capsules, respectively.
GoINPHARMA™: We know that in the near future there will be some major blockbusters that will have be exposed to competition from generics because their patents are going to expire: would you list for us the most important cases and the financial impact that you foresee (lost sales)?
Dr. Yali Friedman: The focus for DrugPatentWatch is actually well beyond the popular cases. Expiration dates for most of the popular drugs tend to be widely known, years in advance. The power of the DrugPatentWatch database is to enable advanced analytics and help find compelling stories behind the “top-10.” For example, there is a spike of film-dosed drug patent expirations in 2020, which creates an opportunity for specialized generic firms to develop appropriate platforms.
GoINPHARMA™: Ad now a glimse into the future, how your company will develop in the future and more in general how will develop the concept of business intelligence in relation to IP?
Dr. Yali Friedman: I have a strong interest in data analytics. A key differentiator of DrugPatentWatch is that it is enables these investigations. I have published a few papers in Nature journals using the DrugPatentWatch database to investigate globalization of pharmaceutical innovation ( http://drugpatentwatch.com/resources ), and look forward to future studies.
DrugPatentWatch was founded in 2002 and originally focused on meeting the needs of attorneys and investors seeking transparency around drug patent expiration dates. The scope of DrugPatentWatch has expanded significantly in the years since inception and use cases have expanded to include healthcare payers, branded and generic manufactuters, and wholesalers and distributors.
Use cases for the database include:
– Branded pharmaceutical firms seeking competitive intelligence
– Generic and API manufacturers seeking knowledge of which drugs to develop
– Wholesalers seeking advance notice of patent expiry to avoid over-stocking off-patent drugs
– Healthcare payers seeking to project and manage future budgets
For more information:
Yali Friedman, Ph.D.