Rothwell Figg

On July 15, 2021, American Gene Technologies (AGT), a Maryland biotech company, announced that the safety data in its Phase 1 trial of AGT103-T revealed no adverse effect.  Based on the data, the FDA’s Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) voted unanimously to continue AGT’s HIV cure program without modification. AGT aims to develop genetic medicines through the application of viral vector technology.  The AGT103-T pipeline is a cell therapy for treating HIV disease.  The…
Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register providing guidance regarding the proper presentation of prophetic examples and working examples in a patent application. According to the guidance, the proper presentation of prophetic and working examples requires them to be described in a manner such that they are clearly distinguished. Prophetic examples (a.k.a., paper examples) describe “reasonably expected future or anticipated results.” In other words,…
On July 27, 2021, Amgen announced that it will acquire Bay area-based Teneobio, a privately held, clinical stage biotechnology company developing multispecific and bispecific molecules including biologics called Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies. Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will acquire all outstanding shares of Teneobio at closing in exchange for a $900 million upfront cash payment, as well as future contingent milestone payments to Teneobio equity holders potentially worth up to an additional $1.6…
mRNA pioneer BioNTech announced recently that it is developing an mRNA-based vaccine to attempt to eradicate malaria.  Its efforts are geographically focused on Africa, and the company said it is furthering those efforts to build manufacturing capacity on the African continent. This all comes on the heels of being the first to ever put an mRNA-based product on the market, its COVID-19 vaccine developed with Pfizer, demonstrated to be 95% effective. “The response to the…
On July 13, 2021, Prime Medicine, a Massachusetts biotech company developing next generation gene editing technology, emerged from stealth mode with $315 million in financing.  The financing includes a $115 million Series A and a $200 million series B investment. Prime Medicine is developing a new gene editing platform called Prime Editing.  The platform is likened to the “search and replace” function of a word processor with the capability of editing genetic sequences at their…
Dual-use ventures—startups that intend to sell both commercially and to the Department of Defense (DoD)—enjoy many advantages. You have a strong opportunity to secure millions of dollars of non-dilutive R&D funding through the SBIR program. With the right product, pitch, and networking, you can transition your SBIR success to large DoD production contracts. You can also leverage traditional VC funding and—with the right product, pitch, and networking—sell successfully to commercial customers. The downside to positioning…
In today’s world, e-commerce and online visibility are sine qua non for success. Businesses are willing to invest considerable sums to boost their online presence and maximize sales. Because of this digitalization of business, domain names acquired incredible value. And where there is value there is opportunity for profit. Trying to reap the benefits of this opportunity are several hundred entities engaging in what is generally called “domain name warehousing”. Among them are, for example,…
At this point you have probably heard about one of the many incidents where an AI-enabled system discriminated against certain populations in settings ranging from healthcare, law enforcement, and hiring, among others. In response to this problem, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently proposed a strategy for identifying and managing bias in AI, with emphasis on biases that can lead to harmful societal outcomes.  The NIST authors summarize: “[T]here are many reasons…