Philly.com: Congress must act to strengthen patent rules, by Sen. Chris Coons and Stephen S. Tang
This post originally appeared in Philly.com on June 4, 2015.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.) is the lead sponsor of the Strong Patents Act. Stephen S. Tang is the president and CEO of the University City Science Center.
This year, more than 70,000 people will be hospitalized with sickle-cell disease, and, about every three minutes, an American will be diagnosed with blood cancer.
The health of many of those people could improve dramatically if Rachel King is successful.
King runs a biotechnology company called GlycoMimetics, which has been developing treatments for sickle-cell disease and several types of blood cancer for a dozen years. She recently testified in the Senate and described the long, costly process that goes into developing life-saving drugs. Her company has been through several rounds of financing, an initial public offering, and multiple clinical trials. After investing tens of millions of dollars and years of time, she explained, “If all goes well, a product may finally be available for patients in a few more years. That would be 15 years after the founding of our company, with tens of millions of dollars invested, and tremendous risks along the way.”
What makes all of that investment possible – with all the risks and years of research and trials – are patents.
Patents are what make the United States the worldwide leader in innovation. From wireless technologies to cancer drugs, patents allow inventors to turn an idea into a real-world solution.