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Life Sciences Industry Reaches Crossroad Say Noted Pillsbury Attorneys
Date:3/17/2008

WASHINGTON and SAN DIEGO, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Even as investors maintain their strong interest in the life sciences sector, industry stakeholders are facing tough decisions, according to Pillsbury attorneys.

"Despite the current credit crunch in the U.S., life science organizations spanning biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices continue to enjoy relatively easy access to capital and growing markets compared to other areas of the economy," said San Diego partner John Wetherell, co-chair of Pillsbury's National Life Sciences Practice Team. "But concerns over where to hedge R&D bets, globalization's advantages and pitfalls, pivotal intellectual property concerns and shifting oversight and regulations in Washington raise some tough questions about where the industry is going."

Wetherell says one of the biggest questions revolves around upcoming patent procedure changes and reform laws likely to affect how inventors are recognized and the awarding of damages in infringement claims. While Congress and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) weigh patent revisions, the first series of patents on more than 70 common pharmaceuticals will expire, which begs the question about generics and how much patent holders stand to lose after investing so much money in research for these products. This is of particular concern given a changing regulatory environment in Washington, where authorities and legislators seek to revamp competing policy objectives and incentives intended to empower the industry and consumers, as well as protect patient safety.

"Given Presidential campaign polls showing that many voters favor some form of universal healthcare and the scope of such plans touted in Congress and on campaign trails, including debates over how best to negotiate lower costs for prescriptions drugs, pharmaceutical companies, universities and other life science leaders face significant risks and opportunities," said David C. Main, head of Pill
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SOURCE Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
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