patentKarolinska Development AB has announced that its portfolio company, Dilafor AB, a drug development company focusing on the development of tafoxiparin for obstetric indications, has been granted a US patent protecting its proprietary compound tafoxiparin.

Tafoxiparin is in clinical development as a new treatment designed to decrease the incidence of protracted labour both after induction of labour and after spontaneous onset of labour.

Protracted labour (that lasts more than 12 hours) is the main cause of emergency surgical deliveries, such as caesarian section. The condition is often associated with complications for both mother and child. Tafoxiparin has shown in a Phase II clinical trial encouraging evidence that it can decrease the proportion of women with labour more than 12 hours.

The US patent granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides key intellectual property protection in the US for Dilafor’s proprietary development compound tafoxiparin until at least April 2033, with the possibility of up to 5 years of  additional patent term extension. In addition to compound protection, claims have also been granted in the US to a manufacturing method as well as to a number of medical uses of tafoxiparin. Patent applications in a broad range of additional territories including Europe, Asia and Latin America, are pending.

Lena Degling Wikingsson, CEO of Dilafor, said: “The grant of this US patent is a major milestone for Dilafor and the result of a focused IP strategy within Dilafor to build a comprehensive patent estate around our lead product. The patent will be an essential IP asset for tafoxiparin and its potential use in treating different important obstetrical indications with high unmet medical need.”

Dilafor recently announced the successful completion of a SEK 51 million financing round, which will enable the company to facilitate a Phase IIb dose finding trial with tafoxiparin in Northern Europe, planned to start before the year end 2016. The study will include women with slow progress of labour after a spontaneous onset.

Viktor Drvota, Chief Investment Officer of Karolinska Development, said: “Having recently completed a financing round to support the company through to its next value inflection point, this is another positive development for our portfolio company. The US patent will give Dilafor a strong foundation for the development and commercialization of tafoxiparin in the US going forward.”