Intellectual property is indispensable for a pharmaceutical company to grow sustainably and continue to make a meaningful contribution to patients. Santen manages and utilizes its intellectual property strategically.
As a specialty company focusing on ophthalmology under its CORE PRINCIPLE “Tenki ni Sanyo suru,” we strive to contribute to Happiness with Vision by providing valuable products and services to patients and medical professionals around the world. We also aim to continue to make a significant contribution to society and enhance our corporate value. To achieve these, we ensure close collaboration between our business divisions, R&D staff, and intellectual property staff in creating new intellectual properties, including patents, trademarks, and designs, especially in the ophthalmic field, and in utilizing the created properties strategically in order to maximize the value of our products from a global perspective.
We proactively apply for patents for inventions designed mainly through our R&D activities for prescription pharmaceuticals. We implement the intellectual property strategy of maximizing the value of our products by strategically applying not only for product patents on active pharmaceutical ingredients and for use patents on their uses, but also for patents on the outcomes of our efforts to develop formulations, manufacturing methods, etc. to gain intellectual property rights to them. Beyond the scope of our company, we are also actively committed to participating in joint research with Japanese and overseas companies and academia and in-licensing pipeline and finished products from partner companies, and we appropriately apply for patents for the fruits of these joint efforts to ensure intellectual rights to them and maximize the value of the relevant products. Meanwhile, to use available resources more efficiently, we periodically review our intellectual properties, including patents gained or pending in Japan and abroad, to decide in which countries we should apply for or have such patents or whether we should maintain or abandon them, thereby maintaining and managing our intellectual property in a manner that conforms with our business and R&D strategies.
Santen is aware that people have difficulty access to healthcare due to economic reasons and a degree of flexibility is required in some countries and regions. In view of this, until the issue of drug access is resolved, we will not file new patent applications in principle and enforcement of patents filed or obtained in the company’s sole name before will be limited to the necessary minimum range not to hinder access to healthcare in Least Developed Countries defined by the United Nations(*1) and Low Income Countries defined by the World Bank(*2).