The patent news is significant because Japan is a major pharmaceutical market and grant of the patent provides the Company with a patent monopoly until January 16, 2016, with the potential to extend this term by an additional 5 years.
GroPep's Vice President of Commercial Operations, Mr Gregory Moss-Smith, said that with the equivalent patents already granted in the USA and Europe, the Japanese grant completes coverage of the most valuable potential markets.
Exclusive, worldwide rights to the patent were obtained by GroPep in 2002 through a licence from the Northern Sydney and Central Coast Area Health Service (NSCCH). The patent (Japanese Patent No. 3,665,342 - "Novel Peptide") is based on research conducted at the Royal North Shore Hospital by Professor Nick Manolios.
As previously reported by the Company, the PP0102 active ingredient has potential application in other autoimmune diseases, including asthma.
On 27th May 2005, GroPep filed a new International Patent Application on the use of the active ingredient for the treatment of asthma. The application is based on research conducted by scientists at the University of Mainz, Germany and confirmed in studies conducted independently in the United Kingdom. Mr Moss-Smith said that the Company is currently evaluating the commercial merit of developing an asthma treatment.