Hi! i read a little bit in your website and understand that you are working on a derivative of DRACO called Vtose? as this sounds very exciting and a great development, I am wondering, isn't DRACO patented in a way that will disallow commercial development of this kind of drug until it's expired?
by the way, do you think DRACO / Vtose will be effective against HPV?
HPV is a small, double-stranded DNA virus, without an envelope. DRACO was previously tested and found effective against 3 viruses with the same characteristics: Reovirus, Adenovirus, and Murine Adenovirus. On that basis, there's good reason to believe that it should be effective against HPV as well.
To add to what Rick said: it's true that it cannot be patented, but it's also true that there are many other potentially patentable aspects that become evident after investigating it deeply, as we have.
I have experience in polymer science, which doesn't help much toward bioengineering but I just registered in order to ask a burning question. This is not the burning question yet but let me start off by asking, since when did Big Pharma really care about a small percentage of casualties? My career was cut short due to Cipro; I am one of tens of thousands, perhaps an order of magnitude above that even, of fluoroquinolone victims. I went from a prime physical specimen to barely alive with no way to get SSD disability because there is no concrete way to link my malady to Cipro even though I have the same thing in the same way as so many others. So I cannot be donor, though I would be if I could be. If all the moviestars and proballers and otherwise wealthy would donate 100K apiece to this cause?
Anyway, my burning question is this. Why did MIT abandon the patent? I know you said it was due to maintenance fees but I find that very hard to believe for something with such potential. I have a hard time believing Lincoln Labs abandoned such a promising technology without going a little further to do more clinical trials, I mean the groundwork was already done. Who in their right mind would dismiss it without going a little further until there is evidence of negative results. I don't see any negative clinical results.
I can't help wondering if someone like Bayer bought out the patent and sat on it without letting the public know. I say this because, for one thing, it seems dubious that you guys are moving forward using a different name (Vtose); if it is indeed public domain then why not start where you left off?
And one more burning question. It was said that the basics of this tech was recreated in two other labs. That's all I could find on it. Is this an example of google-internet scrubbing or did they also get bought out by big Pharm?
I wish you guys all the best, if only the powers that be would realize that they could still survive even if a cure got out. Heck they could start developing alternative energy sources with as much investment potential as they have. Thank you.
Although we were originally told by MIT that they had abandoned all of the DRACO-related patents, when we looked into it more thoroughly, it turns out that one of the patents was in fact renewed (US 7566694). Bayer didn't license that patent, but we did--we are now the exclusive licensee.
The problem with clinical trials is that there is a huge amount of work that needs to be done between identifying a promising set of compounds and being ready to try them in humans. It turns out that NIH and similar funding agencies in the US are willing to fund basic research to identifying promising compounds, as well as more advanced research once they finally reach the clinical trial stage. However, funding for the work to make a discovery ready for clinical trials is something they don't do.
It is precisely that "in between" work that we are doing now. One reason for the name VTose is that we don't want others to confuse or conflate our work with that of Dr Rider's. There is overlap, of course, but he didn't publish a lot of what he did, so there are also differences.
My apologies, I'm coming late to the party and totally missed that you are not affiliated with Dr Rider on this. That makes sense now, thanks. Happy to hear you secured the patent. Still hard to believe it isn't worth investing in to the big investors.
I'm fairly patent-illiterate (been out of the biz 35 years); therefore I ask, does the 20-year-clock start ticking on that patent right away or does the 20 years start once it were to become marketable? In other words, and I can't believe I can't remember these things, is this something like a research patent that covers you up til market phase at which time you'd have to apply for an extension or whatever?
A word towards the flack you guys get for your backgrounds making you unlikely candidates. I worked with a guy that had no formal training or education in chemistry, he started from scratch, no family business or anything. He invented an oil-additive friction-modifying molecule that was too good. Totally departed from anything else on the market, no sulfur/sulfide, no boron, matter fact it was purely an organic molecule. Exxon Mobile bought it (because he didn't have the funds to take it the rest of the way to market himself) and I think he fully expected to work with them on this but they coldly abandoned him and who knows if they ever employed that molecule or just sat on it.
My take on "big investors" when it comes to DRACO is two things. First, most don't take the original research seriously. "If it really worked, someone would have already invested" kind of nonsense. Second, VCs, in particular, tend to view the investment world in very short time frames; they're usually looking for a 10x or more return on their investment within 2 to 4 yrs. Unfortunately, drug development takes a lot longer than that.
Regarding patents, the 20 yr clock starts ticking when you submit your original application for a provisional patent. Getting the full 20 yrs requires paying periodic fees, though. If the patent owner stops paying, the patent is considered "abandoned".
As far as our backgrounds go, my usual response to questions along those lines is that the main skill really required is to be able to run a science-oriented business. Technical skills can be hired or contracted out. Even so, I actually have the equivalent of a Bachelor's in Biochemistry, and I worked in a biology lab for 2 yrs and had a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal about my work. In addition, since we received seed funding in March, we have already been able to replicate Dr Rider's core result, in the form of a DRACO-like protein that is clearly effective against the Dengue virus--so presumably that demonstrates some level of competency. :)