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Japan Plans to Extend Patent Terms on Regenerative Drugs

Issued: February 24 2014

Japan is planning to extend patent terms on regenerative medicines by five years from the current 20 years to encourage research and development, according to a report by Nikkei in Tokyo.


Subjects, such as skin, corneas, muscle, cartilage and other tissue cultured for transplant surgery, and other regenerative medicines will have their own patent classification separate from pharmaceuticals, said the newspaper.


“Extending the patent term would allow companies to more easily recoup development costs even after time-consuming clinical trials on humans,” said the newspaper.  It said the term remains 20 years on other medical products, such as artificial hearts.


Under the current regulations, the patent term lasts for 20 years. Only pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals might receive exceptions of up to 25 years’ term due to lengthy approval process. 


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