Cell Therapy Limited (CTL) operates in the field of regenerative medicine – developing novel and innovative stem cell and wound healing medicines. In 2011 CTL found success in isolating and culturing a new population of therapeutic cells. These cells were capable of homing to damaged tissues, such as heart tissue damaged by a heart attack, and promoting survival, repair and regeneration of the tissue. Although CTL had within the previous year already filed several patent applications with the UK Intellectual Property Office, there was a pressing need to evaluate the patent portfolio and make some key strategic decisions on future IP strategy. CTL was concerned to ensure that its new invention was protected as comprehensively as it needed to be in view of its overall business strategy, which was focused on moving forward swiftly to develop partnerships with appropriate third parties in the UK and overseas to commercialise the technology.
When CTL approached us in May 2011, we swiftly reviewed the existing patent applications and identified those aspects of the technology in need of additional protection. By July 2011 we had prepared and filed an international patent application covering all aspects of the technology, including many aspects that had not been identified before we became involved. The resulting published patent application broadly covered the therapeutic cells as a composition of matter as well as a variety of therapeutic uses of the cells.
We continued to work with CTL, preparing further patent applications to protect valuable intellectual property in related technologies and secure the client’s position in key overseas markets.
The comprehensive protection achieved for CTL’s therapeutic cells put the company into a strong position globally. CTL was able to achieve the highest level of protection available to a biotechnology invention, with its therapeutic cells being treated as composition of matter equivalent to chemical or biologic drugs.
From its powerful negotiating position, this small company was able to negotiate a licensing deal with a large Chinese corporation, Zhongyuan Union Stem Cell Bioengineering Corporation, to form a China joint venture which will conduct clinical trials of the cells in China. It has also allowed CTL to set up in Canada and become the industrial partner of the University of Oxford’s Stem Cell Institute. Between May 2011 and December 2013, CTL more than quadrupled in size.
"CTL is an innovative regenerative medicine company focused on research and development. As such the focus of our value creation is in intellectual property. With the help of partner Lee Chapman and the supporting team at J A Kemp, we feel our company’s most valuable assets are well protected – they have helped us develop and implement a compelling IP strategy. Though we remain a UK SME, with world-class patent development and management CTL has been able to develop a global presence."