Developing a licencing strategy

Camurus AB is a Swedish research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology company specialising in the commercialisation of innovative specialty medicines for treating serious and chronic diseases, where there are clear medical needs and potential to significantly improve treatment.

Dehns Partner, Chris Goddard, began working with Camurus as a Dehns trainee in 2001. He has been Camurus’ primary contact at Dehns since 2003 and their principal patent counsel for more than a decade. In nearly 20 years working together, Dehns has drafted and filed in excess of 400 granted and pending patents and patent applications internationally for Camurus.

Camurus focuses on developing technology for pharmaceutical administration systems. They develop projects in-house or in partnership with external organisations who wish to utilise Camurus technology to deliver their own active agents. Partnerships over the last 10 years have included agreements with Novartis Pharma, Rhythm pharmaceuticals and Braeburn pharmaceuticals. In each case, Camurus technology has been licensed or co-developed with the partner to deliver either an off-patent active agent or the partner’s proprietary pharmaceutical compound.

Camurus’ business model relies on multiple licensing agreements with multiple other parties, often with the same patents covering the core Camurus technology in several separate agreements.

As a result, they need to make sure that their intellectual property is protected to uphold the value of the agreement and that both the IP and the agreements are structured in a way that allows for multiple licensing with minimal conflict.

Dehns Partner, Chris Goddard, worked closely with Camurus to make sure they had an established portfolio that would support each licensing deal. This involved developing a licensing and patent prosecution strategy that would help them maintain control of their technology in all agreements while providing their partners with the protection and control they required from a joint development.

Camurus worked with Dehns and with their business legal advisors to reach a sequence of deals that could satisfy both Camurus and their partners. This is a particularly important challenge for an organisation which relies on being able to license its technology to more than one company.

Dehns played a vital role in working with Camurus to establish the strategy and portfolio to support their licensing deals without sacrificing control of the company’s key technological assets. The innovative work of Camurus scientists has benefited patients by improving compliance and ease of use in key therapeutic areas, with one joint development product now on sale as an EMA-approved treatment for opioid dependence and further products in the pipeline.