The search sought to identify methods to generate iPSCs, the resultant cells, compositions, and use of the cells. To that end, the U.S. Patent and Trademark-issued and published application databases were searched for claims having the following terms: “reprogramming and induce” and “pluripotent” or “stem cell.” The initial search identified approximately 230 pending and issued patents having these terms in the claims. To identify those documents that were principally focused on iPSCs and exclude ancillary technologies (such as methods to confirm pluripotency or identification of cell markers), the patent documents were manually reviewed by the Foley & Lardner LLP law firm, and in particular licensed U.S. patent attorneys with appropriate technical and legal expertise. 177 pending applications and issued patents were selected as relevant.
Trends in the development of the technology were further identified by categorization of the 177 patent literature documents as follows:
(a) type of claim, i.e., were the claims directed to a composition, a method of making, use/diagnostic use, therapy or a device?;
(b) types of cells and their use, i.e., in vitro versus in vivo use of iPS cells and the tissue of the originating cell type, e.g., fibroblast cell; and
(c) iPSC induction technology, i.e., whether the iPS cells were induced with the aid of cytokines, and/or the use of transformation genes or factors (e.g., OCT, Klf, Myc), and whether the method of making the iPSC-required integration of the transforming factor into the chromosome or extra-chromosomally (e.g., episomal expression).
Global patenting trends were identified by categorizing the documents by assignee and the global region based on address of the assignee as listed on the patent document.