On November 6, 2020, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding the, “Prospective Grant of an Exclusive Patent License: Development of a Direct Ocular Administered Formulation of Metformin for Use in Therapeutic Treatment of Retinal Degenerative Diseases in Humans” (85 FR 67360). The field of use is for the development, manufacturing, use and sale of a direct ocular-administered formulation of metformin for use as therapeutics to treat retinal degenerative diseases in human.
The technology is to be licensed to Connectyx Technologies Holdings Group (Connectyx). As recently as September the NIH posted another proposed exclusive license to be given to Connectyx, in that instance for an antibody-drug conjugate to target and treat glioblastoma. KEI noted in our previous comments issues with the Connectyx, in that it appears to be a company with little public information, no FDA-approved products, and no development or manufacturing facilities.
In the process of commenting on this license, the NIH was unresponsive and non-transparent. KEI has noted the NIH’s lack of transparency related to these licenses previously, but in the case of this license, the NIH simply did not acknowledge or reply to our inquiries. As the NIH negotiates and executes these licenses to potentially critical treatments, discovered with taxpayer funding, the lack of transparency, responsiveness, and accountability is unacceptable.
A PDF of KEI’s full comments is available here: KEI_NIH_Comments_Connectyx_6Nov2020