Patent “made in Switzerland” – University of Zurich could earn millions with Alzheimer’s drug


The University of Zurich owns the patent for a new Alzheimer’s drug. This means that she has a share in the profits of the US biotechnology company Biogen. The joy is huge.

Scientists developed the active ingredient aducanumab for the newly approved Alzheimer’s drug in the laboratories of the University of Zurich and the Neurimmune company from Schlieren.

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  • For the first time in almost two decades, the United States approved a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • The patent for the active ingredient aducanumab belongs to the University of Zurich.

  • It has a percentage share in the profit of the manufacturer Biogen.

For the first time in almost two decades, the United States approved a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease. For the University of Zurich this is a reason to celebrate, because the drug called aducanumab (also called Aduhelm) was developed there as part of a research project. Thus, the University of Zurich is the owner of an important patent for the active ingredient. In other words: If the drug comes on the market, the university earns a lot with it.

Again “Tages-Anzeiger” reported the two neuroscientists and knowledge schaftlerinnen hIn the meantime, a spin-off company was founded which is responsible for the commercialization of aducanumab. Roger Nitsch and Christoph Hock’s Neurimmune company is intended to flow back funds to the university that financed the research project. The revenue sharing is around two Percent, says an expert.

The University of Zurich can look forward to at least 100 million dollars

A rough estimate already throws in numbers ninedigit range: Sales of the US company Biogen are between five to six Billions of dollars per year, the University of Zurich should be entitled to around 100 million dollars. And that seems like that «Tags» only das Worst-case scenario, because according to others Calculations, Biogen could get up to $ 112 billion a year with aducanumab. For the university it is a bit like winning the lottery, swrites the «Tags». The patent runs until January 2028.

How well aducanumab works, however, is controversial: An internal advisory committee of the US drug agency FDA had spoken out against the approval, several scientists and howsscientist sI publicly expressed skepticism. However, numerous patient organizations had campaigned for approval. The drug is intended for patients and patients given as a monthly infusion with early Alzheimer’s disease and stop the depletion of mental power. It is also the first active ingredient to be approved in the USA that is intended to counteract the progression of the disease and not just symptoms.

Inventors benefit too

Although Biogen has held the sole license for aducanumab since 2007, Neurimmune will also have a share in the success, reports the «Tags» further. Three years ago, Biogen announced that Neurimmune would have a one-time payment of $ 50 million in the future eight to twelve Percent will be reduced – which will still be a proud sum. Also from the two Percent share of the University of Zurich goes to the inventors and inventors round again ten Percent.

How big the windfall will ultimately be depends on what the drug will actually cost and how successful it will be. Biogen wants $ 56,000 a year for it. Health professionals had expected a reasonable price to be somewhere between $ 2,500 and $ 8,300. Financial analysts who are well-disposed towards the pharmaceutical companies reckoned with a price range of 10,000 to 25,000 dollars.

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