VaxPaL – COVID-19 vaccines patent landscape
Welcome to VaxPaL, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)’s new patents database devoted to COVID-19 vaccines. VaxPaL builds on MPP’s 10-year experience in mapping patents on key health technologies through MedsPaL, the world’s leading tool on the patent status of essential medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
As of now, VaxPaL provides patent information on COVID-19 vaccines compiled into an Excel workbook. In the coming months, VaxPaL will be turned into a fully searchable online database, similar to MedsPaL.
It should be noted that VaxPaL is NOT a freedom to operate analysis and should not be interpreted as such. The patent information on COVID-19 vaccines was compiled for the purpose of providing greater transparency on patents relating to key COVID-19 vaccines and focuses primarily (though not exclusively) on patents filed by the entities that have developed each vaccine. Read full disclaimer.
Users should also be aware that relevant patent applications are likely to have been filed over the past year and a half but may not yet be public (patent applications are generally only published 18 months after their filing – although there are procedures for early publication, as is the case for some of the patent applications that are relevant to COVID-19 vaccines).
The workbook will be updated regularly until the fully searchable online version is released. Users are invited to send any comments/suggestions on VaxPaL, including any corrections, to email@example.com
Download the database by clicking below:
See details below on how to read the Workbook (section “What information is included in VaxPaL?”)
We selected COVID-19 approved vaccines worldwide as well as those progressing on WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process.
Latest guidance document dated 3 June 2021: Status of COVID-19 vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process. Additional vaccine candidates will be added in the coming weeks.
Information on the main patents and patent applications for the selected vaccines was collected from various sources such as publicly available patent search databases, regional or national patent office databases, the originator/innovator’s website, scientific literature or financial statements and was manually reviewed. Other information such as licence agreements and potential contractual arrangements was also drawn from various sources such as financial statements, innovator’s website, or press releases. The bulk of the searching and analysis of patent data was performed by iProPAT Intellectual Property Solutions for each vaccine. The data was then compiled, cross-checked and supplemented by MPP with information/patents identified from other publicly available patent landscapes and internal searches. See details on the methodology used for identifying relevant patents and patent applications below.
The file contains a worksheet named “PATENT FAMILIES” regrouping all families identified as being relevant or potentially relevant for the selected COVID-19 vaccines. The filter feature allows multi-criteria searches, including by:
- Vaccine type
- Innovator/originator/developer name
- Patent family representative Patent/Publication No.
- Expected expiry date
A comment “further assessment required” was added to indicate when further analysis is still needed to assess the relevance of a patent family either because a patent application was mentioned by a source but needs yet to be published or because detailed technical information on the vaccine is not publicly available yet (e.g. technical information or processes, or exact composition).
Whenever possible, detailed worldwide patent status information is also provided and the information is organised in one spreadsheet per vaccine.
The workbook will be updated to add new vaccines with their relevant patent families and detailed patent status. Newly identified patent families for the vaccines already listed will also be added. The detailed patent status for vaccines already listed will be updated when major changes occur.
Step 1: (Collecting basic information)
The basic information on each vaccine was retrieved, such as approval information, product labels, vaccine construct and its preparation, composition, ingredients used in compositions, indication, technology involved in the preparation of each vaccine, and information from journals and press releases was collected. Collecting this information relied mainly on different databases including those of the USFDA, EMA, WHO, clinical trials database, SEC filings & press releases of innovator companies as well as third parties.
The information from the innovator and/or other companies involved in the development/manufacturing of the vaccine was searched. The licence agreements between companies/institutes involved in the product development was also searched for, in order to understand the terms and conditions that were available in the public domain.
Step 2: (Product study)
This step involved an understanding of the key modifications made in the vaccine construct to elicit pharmacological action and method of preparation, if applicable; an understanding of the role of excipients used in the vaccine; and an understanding the technology and its applicability.
Step 3: (Patent search)
This step involved:
- A search for patent information in company websites and press releases to check whether any patents are listed for the vaccine by the innovator or any third party. We also searched in the Annual Reports of the innovator, journals related to the vaccine and third-party articles to check whether any patent information is listed.
- A search in publicly available patent searching databases like USPTO, WIPO, ESPACENET and Google Patents database with keywords like inventor names disclosed in publicly available literature, vaccine candidates, and excipient combinations, technical names, vaccine codes and innovator names.
Step 4: (Picking relevant patents & providing patent status in worldwide countries)
This step involved picking relevant patents based on the information available, mapping them for vaccine candidate relevancy and collecting information on the status of relevant patents in countries around the world.
Patent status information was collected from public patent databases including national and regional online patent registers. When the family included an Indian patent or patent application, the latest Form 3 submitted by the applicant to the Indian Patent Office and listing equivalents worldwide (under Section 8 of the Indian Patents Act 1970) was also checked and used as a source for identifying family members.
iProPAT landscapes for each vaccine were reviewed and compiled by MPP. The PATENT FAMILIES list was cross-checked and supplemented with information identified from other sources such as publicly available landscape or articles.
Users should NOT consider VaxPaL (VaxPaL – COVID-19 vaccines patent landscape) a complete and authoritative source of patent information, and it is not meant to provide a ‘freedom-to-operate’ analysis. It only provides a snapshot at a point in time, based on the information available to MPP.
We do not accept any legal responsibility for the accuracy of data. In particular, we do not guarantee it is complete, up to date or fit for specific purposes. Users should undertake additional country search and legal analysis before making any decision based on this data.
A full understanding of the patent situation in any country, for a specific vaccine, requires additional information and analysis not provided in this database. This includes an analysis of the specific claims of a national/regional patent application or granted patent.