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iX Biopharma gets enhanced patent protection in the US for lead drug

CATALIST-LISTED iX Biopharma has received a second notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which enhances intellectual property (IP) protection for the former's lead drug Wafermine.

Upon issuance, the US patent is expected to expire no earlier than October 2030. It will provide key IP protection for the pharmaceutical company's WaferiX delivery technology platform and give specific protection for WaferiX delivering ketamine (Wafermine).

The patent will provide a further barrier to generic entry in addition to the company's notice of allowance for its WaferiX delivery technology platform issued earlier this year, iX Biopharma said in a press statement on Tuesday.

The notice of allowance from the USPTO concludes the "substantive" examination of WaferiX's patent application, which is now expected to be issued as a patent once the patent office concludes its administrative procedures.

Eva Tan, iX Biopharma's director of corporate and commercial strategy, said the patent protection offers a strong barrier against competition with the company's WaferiX technology and allows Wafermine to have a substantial period of market exclusivity upon commercialisation.

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"This notice of allowance is very timely as it increases Wafermine's attractiveness as an in-licensing asset to a potential partner," she said.

iX Biopharma said it has also filed corresponding patent applications in other jurisdictions that will allow it to seek similar patent protection in other key markets throughout the world.

The company's IP rights for its sublingual wafer technology are now secured in major markets, including China, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, countries in the European Union, and others.

Wafermine, which is under development, is available for out-licensing. iX Biopharma said it has completed the End-of-Phase 2 meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration and reached an agreement with the agency on key aspects of Phase 3 development for the drug.

Shares of iX Biopharma closed S$0.01 or 3.7 per cent higher at S$0.28 on Monday.

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