On December 3, 2020, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) regarding the “Prospective Grant of Exclusive Patent License: Treatment and Prevention of Neuropathic Pain With P2Y14 Antagonists” (85 FR 73490). The technology is to be licensed on an exclusive and sublicensable basis to St. Louis University (SLU), a non-profit university in Missouri. The inventions are currently jointly assigned to the U.S. government and SLU, and the stated purpose of the exclusive license is to consolidate the patents within SLU, for “commercial development and marketing.”
As the explicit purpose of the exclusive license is the further sublicensing and commercialization of the inventions, it is critical that the NIH incorporate terms that safeguard the public’s interest in these invention, which are towards the treatment and prevention of neuropathic pain. KEI has outlined terms that should be included to ensure transparency, protect against price discrimination, and ensure availability of any treatment in developing countries (at affordable prices).
KEI’s full comments are available here: KEI_NIH_Comments_Exclusive_License_SLU_3Dec2020