Formosa Transnational - Taiwan
On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation defined the covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic. By mid-December 2020 there have been more than 68 million cases and 1.5 million deaths caused by covid-19 worldwide.
In March 2020 the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) published a list of Taiwanese patents covering potential covid-19 drugs in clinical trial. On 27 November 2020 TIPO added more drugs to the list, including the small molecule anti-viral drugs nelfinavir, emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil, sofosbuvir, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate, azvudine, and baloxavir marboxil – most of which are still covered by valid patents. What is more, marketing approval for remdesivir in Taiwan has been issued and two more patents (TWI401084 and TWI698444) have been listed. However, the patents covering small molecule anti-viral drug lopinavir/ritonavir have all lapsed.
The small molecule drugs camostat mesilate, baricitinib, azithromycin, ivermectin, cepharanthine, budesonide/formoterol, candesartan, CM4620, dapagliflozin, dexemedetomidine, imatinib, linagliptin, nintedanib, rivaroxaben, ruxolitinib, selinexor, sitagliptin, TAK-981, tofacitinib, valsartan and vazegepant have also been added to the list. These drugs are still covered by valid patents, except for camostat mesilate, ivermectin, cepharanthine and silmitasertib.
Most of the large-molecule protein drugs (eg, sarilumab, tocilizumab, HzVSFv13, canakinumab, clazakizumab, LY3127804, nivolumab, siltuximab, itolizumab and ropeginterferon α-2b) are still covered by valid patents, except for HzVSFv13.
From the updated list, it is clear that further efforts have been made to identify new treatments for covid-19 and that many new drugs have been proposed. Although necessary acts of exploiting the claimed invention for research or experimental purposes do not constitute infringement, parties should be careful when exploiting patented drugs. For those who are interested, detailed information may be found in the Taiwan patent search system.