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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

The Collaborative Research Program in Biomedical Innovation Law (CeBIL) is a substantial international collaboration between the University of Copenhagen's Law Faculty (principal organisation), Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, the University of Cambridge's Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences, the University of Michigan, and the University of Copenhagen's Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), alongside a broad network of stakeholder organisations and international experts within law, economics, life sciences, medicine, sociology, and pharmacy. The collaboration is led by Professor Timo Minssen from the University of Copenhagen (formerly a LML Visiting Scholar), and is generously funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The Collaborative Research Programme for Biomedical Innovation Law focused on innovation inefficiencies on the Life Science Frontiers through five concrete interrelated studies, complemented by a sixth synergy study. 

The common aim of the 5 concrete studies is to optimise legal concepts into enabling tools that will help to bring novel technologies, research, and bio-medicine together for radical innovation – thereby providing a much needed contribution to the bridging of bio-pharmaceutical innovation gaps, enhancing translational medicine, and promoting technology transfer. A 6th overarching policy & synergy study ensures continuous knowledge and synergy across the 5 concrete studies.

The University of Cambridge partners are responsible for Study 4 (New Uses), which focuses on the challenges of new medical use patents and feasible alternatives to support the repurposing of known drugs. 

Lead by Dr Kathy Liddell (PI) and Dr John Liddicoat (Senior Research Associate), the aim of the project is to harness legal expertise in the field of intellectual property to help scientists and clinicians with the challenge of repurposing known drugs. In particular, the project seeks to:

1) Identify the nature, source and extent of the incentive gap (if any) for developing new medical purposes for known products; and

2) Study the role of law in making re-purposing research more economically attractive, efficient and effective – what does the law do to help or hinder re-purposing of pharmaceuticals, and what could it do better?

3) Revisit the (normative) question whether methods of use patents should be disallowed because they promote 'evergreening’, rather than incentivise high-innovation/high-disclosure

4) To contribute significantly to the empirical evidence base for improving legal policy in this area.

LML also contributes to Study 6 (Synergy & Policy Solutions).