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USPTO grants patent to Unilife ready-to-fill syringe

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted patent No. 8,167,837 to Unilife's ready-to-fill (prefilled) syringe.

The barrel of prefilled syringe utilizes the company’s proprietary technology for the integration of automatic and operator-controlled needle retraction.

Unilife CEO Alan Shortall said the importance of the patent, which covers upto 2026, is evident from many pharmaceutical companies seeking access to best-in-class devices like prefilled syringe.

"Unilife’s devices enable pharmaceutical companies to differentiate their injectable drugs from competitors’ products, build market share and protect or increase their revenues," Shortall added.

"Expert legal opinion indicates that the unique safety, functionality and performance characteristics of our proprietary technologies may be utilized to extend the commercial lifecycles of drug-device combination products beyond the patent expiration of the drug itself.

"Because more than 70 biologics with combined annual revenues in excess of $70 billion are set to fall off the patent cliff between now and 2020, we have commenced discussions with a number of pharmaceutical customers with a view to enhancing and extending the commercial lifecycles of their blockbuster therapies."