ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) shares rose on Friday as it announced that the US Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) has completed its examination of the company's patent application (14/379,239), entitled: "Phenotype profile of human retinal progenitor cells" and has made a notification of allowance for the issuance of a patent.
In a statement, the UK-based global leader in the development of cell-based therapeutics said the allowed patent protects the composition of the company's hRPC cell-based therapeutic candidate for retinal diseases, cultured under specific conditions to enhance function and identifiable by the presence and absence of specific cell surface markers.
This notification of allowance in the US adds further intellectual property protection to the hRPC technology, which already has patent protection in a number of other major territories including Europe, Japan and Australia, it added.
The hRPC therapeutic candidate is currently undergoing Phase 2a clinical evaluation for the treatment of the inherited blindness-causing disorder retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This programme has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in both Europe and the US, as well as Fast Track designation from the FDA in the US.
Orphan Drug Designation provides the potential for a significant period of market exclusivity once the therapy is approved in those territories. Fast Track designated products may also be eligible for accelerated approval and priority review programmes offered by the FDA.
Commenting on the notification of allowance, Olav Hellebø, ReNeuron’s chief executive officer said: "We are pleased to have received this latest US notice of allowance to add to ReNeuron's extensive patent estate of over 250 patents across 29 patent families encompassing all of its technologies and therapeutic candidates.
“The notice of allowance adds further value to our hRPC patent estate in the context of our aim to secure high value out-licensing deals for our retinal disease programme in due course."
In late morning trading, ReNeuron shares were 1% higher at 125p.
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