Nutriset and Sanofi rewarded for using their intellectual property to address global humanitarian challenges.
The "Patents for Humanity Award" from the US Patent Office is a highly selective international competition, rewarding innovations for humanitarian purposes. Two French companies were named among the 10 laureates in 2015. Nutriset and Sanofi were honored at a ceremony held on April 20, at the White House with representatives of the Embassy of France in Washington (IP attaché and the Counselor for Science and Technology). Each of these innovations has been developed through a public-private partnership with public research laboratories.
The award ceremony was opened by John P. Holdren, director of the OSTP (White House Office for Science and Technology Policy) and Michelle Lee, the Under Secretary of Commerce, Director of the US Patent Office (Department of Commerce USPTO) and brought together sixty people at the White House.
Nutriset, laureate in the "Nutrition" category, was awarded for its highly nutritious peanut-based product, PlumpyNut ®. This innovation, which was developed in partnership with French Institute of Research for Development (IRD), very quickly improves the nutrient intake of children suffering from malnutrition. The company Nutriset was selected in particular for its technology transfer strategy and patent licensing policy in developing countries. Using patents as a vector for technology and knowledge transfer, the company makes the manufacturing technology of its product available to local producers, who can then improve health and nutrition conditions in developing countries. Today, 8 companies are part of the PlumpyField® network and were able to utilize the technology transfer for system quality control, industrial processes and production. 10 partner companies also benefited from a usage agreement.
Sanofi, laureate in the "Medicine" category, was rewarded for having successfully developed a large scale industrial manufacturing process of a Malaria medication. This innovation was developed at a laboratory scale through a public-private partnership involving the University of Berkley. The innovation developed by Sanofi makes this very effective drug, Artemisinin, globally accessible. This drug was originally made from the extraction of an Asian plant in limited quantities. This innovation should improve the health of vulnerable populations in the world (estimated to be 50% of the world population, with 198 million cases of infection reported each year).
From left to right: Maria Kasparian (representative of Edesia /Nutriset US partner), Adeline Gautier Lescanne (Nutriset, CEO), Thomas Couaillet (Nutriset, legal director), Alain Werner (Sanofi, Principal Patent Counsel), Robert Sebbag (Sanofi, Vice President, Access to Medicines), Michelle Lee (USPTO, Director), Philippe Charreau (Sanofi, Associate Vice President of chemistry and biotechnology development), Leila Equinet (Embassy of France in Washington, IP Attaché) and Minh Ha PHAM (Embassy of France in Washington, Counselor for Science and Technology)