BioTime owns, controls or has licensed directly, or through our subsidiaries, approximately 850 patents and pending patent applications worldwide including more than 190 issued or pending U.S. patents or patent applications. This number also includes the over 135 patents and applications licensed from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (“WARF”).
BioTime relies primarily on patents and contractual obligations with employees and third parties to protect our proprietary rights. The Company has sought, and intends to continue to seek, appropriate patent protection for important and strategic components of our proprietary technologies by filing patent applications in the U.S. and certain foreign countries. There are no assurances that any of our intellectual property rights will guarantee protection or market exclusivity for our products and product candidates. The Company also uses license agreements both to access technologies developed by other companies and universities and to convey certain intellectual property rights to others.
BioTime and our subsidiary, Cell Cure Neurosciences, Ltd. (“Cell Cure”), have issued patents that will provide protection to OpRegen. The issued patents have expiry dates ranging from 2025 to 2033. BioTime and our subsidiary, Cell Cure also have pending applications that if issued, will provide protection to OpRegen and will have expiry dates ranging from December 2025 to December 2038.
Cell Cure was a party to two pending opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office (EPO) involving EP Patent Numbers 2147094 (issued 08-Oct-2014) and 2554661 (issued 19-Nov-2014), both entitled, “Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells”. The Oral Proceedings took place on March 16, 2017 and March 17, 2017, respectively. Both patents were upheld by the EPO. The decisions were both appealed and the detailed grounds for appeal were due on September 9, 2017 and September 11, 2017, respectively, however, both appeals were withdrawn prior to those dates and the patents will be issued as amended in the opposition proceedings. Both patents relate to our OpRegen product and provide protection until April 2028. There are additional patent applications pending that if issued will provide further protection for OpRegen.
The patent rights relevant to neural cells, such as oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, include various patent families acquired from Geron that are directed to the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (including hES cells) into various neural cell types, as well as various culture and purification methods. These patent rights also include rights licensed from the Regents of the University of California.
There are issued patents in the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore and Israel. Additionally, there are five new pending patent families owned by us directed to improved methods of producing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, oligodendrocyte progenitor cell compositions and methods of treatment of spinal cord injury and stroke using oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. The stroke family is jointly owned with the Regents of the University of California; the other four new pending families are solely owned by Asterias.
The expiration dates of the patents acquired from Geron and in-licensed from the Regents of the University of California will be within 2021 to 2030. The potential expiry dates of the four new patent families with applications pending will be within 2036 to 2038.
VAC1 and VAC2 Program
The patent rights relevant to dendritic cells include various patent families acquired from Geron or in-licensed from third parties that are directed to the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (including hES cells) into hematopoietic progenitor cells and immature and mature dendritic cells. In addition, these patent rights include a patent family with claims directed to immunogenic compositions comprising antigen-presenting dendritic cells and methods of eliciting an anti-telomerase immune response in a subject by administering to the subject such compositions.
There are issued patents in the United States, Australia, Europe, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Israel and Singapore. The expiration dates of the patents acquired from Geron and in-licensed to us range from 2019 to 2029.
Additionally, there is a new pending patent family owned by us with claims directed to immunotherapeutic compositions comprising immunogenic peptides and methods of eliciting a cellular mediated immune response in a subject, with a provisional patent application filed in 2017. The potential expiry date of the new patent family with a pending provisional application will be in 2038.
In addition, BioTime has issued patents in the Unites States and various other jurisdictions for producing cardiomyocytes, pancreatic islet cells, hepatocytes, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts. The expiration dates of these patents range from 2020 to 2032.
BioTime has patent protection for Renevia with expiry dates ranging from May 2023 to August 2027, and pending applications that if issued, will provide protection to Renevia with expiry dates ranging from December 2024 to June 2038.