An unusually-productive relationship between University College London Medical School, Ark Therapeutics Ltd. (ticker LSE: AKT.L) and Boehringer-Ingleheim GmbH produced evidence that certain anti-hypertensive medicines, including Boehringer-Ingleheim’s Mycardis® telmisartan, prevent stroke and heart attack. Patenting either of these two new indications could provide important commercial protection for Mycardis®.
The U.S. Patent Office, however, thought that using an anti-hypertensive medicine like telmisartan to prevent stroke or heart attack was obvious. Thus, over a decade after filing the priority application, the applicant was still without a patent on heart attack or stroke. With only two years of Mycardis® data exclusivity remaining, the situation became urgent.
We were brought in to see if we could help. Just before data exclusivity expired, we won patents claiming the use of telmisartan to protect against both myocardial infarction (US07998953) and stroke (US08003679). On news of the patent grants (July 4th), Ark Therapeutics’ stock price tripled in value.