10 Jul 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Unilife patent for the Unifill ready-to-fill (prefilled) syringes. This key patent, which provides Unilife and its customers with a long-term competitive advantage till 2026, covers Unilife's proprietary technology for the integration of automatic and operator-controlled needle retraction features within the barrel of a prefilled syringe.
Mr Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife, said, "The Unifill syringe is the world's first and only prefilled syringe with integrated safety features. This patented technology differentiates Unifill from every other prefilled syringe that is either on the market, or known by us to be in development. It is a key component of our strong and fast-expanding intellectual property (IP) portfolio. The patent further validates the uniqueness of Unilife's proprietary integrated retraction technology."
US-based company Unilife is also listed in the Australian stock exchange. "Expert legal opinion indicates that the unique safety, functionality and performance characteristics of our proprietary technologies may be utilized to extend the commercial lifecycles of drug-device combination products beyond the patent expiration of the drug itself. Because more than 70 biologics with combined annual revenues in excess of $70 billion are set to fall off the patent cliff between now and 2020, we have commenced discussions with a number of pharmaceutical customers with a view to enhancing and extending the commercial lifecycles of their blockbuster therapies," said Mr Shortall. "We continue to invest heavily in the diversification of our IP portfolio in order to expand and protect our position as a global leader for injectable drug delivery systems. Indeed, we expect our total number of patent filings to increase by two to three times in calendar year 2012 compared to 2011. These investments are building significant shareholder value and providing the impetus for our future growth by significantly expanding the scope of commercial opportunities available to Unilife."
Unilife has to-date been granted 60 patents worldwide for its device technologies and has filed more than one hundred additional patent applications that are expected to be granted at various times by the USPTO and other international patent organizations.