Ilya Pharma has announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 10,696,974 to the company.
The patent includes broad claims that cover a plasmid capable of expressing the protein CXCL12 in lactic acid bacteria, transformed lactic acid bacterial strains comprising the plasmid, and a number of products comprising the transformed bacteria. These claims protect inventions which are central to the company’s programs for treating human and animal wounds, and provide a significant barrier to entry for competitors.
A major step forward in the “bugs for drugs” debate
“We are delighted to have received such broad protection from the USPTO which validates and our original and innovative platform. While we have initially focussed on using our transformed L. reuteri bacterial strains for treating skin wounds as the shortest route to proof of concept, we have always planned to broaden the pipeline to cover other areas such as gastrointestinal indications, perfectly in line with the corporate strategy. This patent now gives us further confidence to advance, for example, our recently announced IBD program which features two gene therapy candidates ILP100 and ILP101. We also believe that the patent is a major step forward in the “bugs for drugs” debate, since the USPTO has recognised that single strains of genetically modified bacteria can readily be distinguished from products occurring in nature,” says CEO and Co-Founder Evelina Vågesjö.
One important aspect of the patent is that the claims cover the plasmid and the bacteria transformed with the plasmid per se, without any use limitations. Accordingly, the patent provides protection for any use of the plasmid or transformed bacteria, such as in the healing of cutaneous or mucosal wounds, or elsewhere in other applications.
Photo of Evelina Vågesjö: Mikael Wallerstedt