Patents for phage display???

Andrew, Tel. +396-91093434 WALLACE at IRBM.IT
Mon May 29 12:56:06 EST 1995

On Wed, 24 May 1995 15:03:13 -0500 in 
Message-ID: <9552423054.~INN-DEAa00208.bionet-news at>
pemanuel at (Peter) wrote:

>Recently someone told me that a company called protein engineering Corp
>has patented everything to do with phage display technology.  Has anyone
>heard of this too?
> I find it hard to believe that one comapny can lay claim to such a broad
>area of science.  Post replies please.
>   Peter
>Peter Emanuel Ph.D.
>University of Maryland School of Medicine
>4-027 Bressler Research Building
>655 West Baltimore Street
>Baltimore, MD 21201

Dear Peter,

   I have just come back from a meeting in Italy where Robert C. Ladner, the
senior vice president of Protein Engineering Corp. was giving a talk. The
patent issue came up and provoked some heated discussion. At one point Ladner
asked the meeting organizer if he could make a formal address to the delegates
on PEC's position. Summarising what he said, basically it seems that in 1988
PEC applied for a patent on the use of phage display libraries to select
peptides and proteins with novel activities. Their application was upheld by
the US patent examiners despite a 1985 publication from George Smith which
shows that proteins could be displayed on the surface of phage (Smith, G.P.
"Filamentous Fusion Phage: Novel Expression Vectors That Display Cloned
Antigens on the Virion Surface" Science 228: 1315-1317, 1985), because the US
patent office held that it was not "obvious" (in the legal sense of the word)
that such methods could be used to create, and select from, libraries which
they agreed as being sufficiently novel to warrant patent protection. Ladner
then stated that in his opinion, anyone using phage technology should approach
PEC to discuss licensing, etc. arrangements. He promised that this would not
be "onerous" for academic users but gave the impression that PEC would expect
something from everyone.

   I haven't seen the patent myself so I don't know what PEC are claiming, but
from what I can gather from others who have seen it that it covers most of the
methods currently used for generating and screening phage libraries, but not
the general concept of using phages to display proteins, which is in the
public domain after Smith's Science  paper.

   Anyone have any more details about this?


P.S. Peter, sorry if you haven't been receiving messages from the molreps
group, but our mails bounce from your site. Maybe you can ask your system
administration if they can do something.

        Andrew Wallace, IRBM P. Angeletti, Pomezia, Italy.

               	Voice: +39-6-91093434
               	Fax:   +39-6-91093225
               	Email: wallace at

 Discussion on phage display, combinatorial libraries, etc. - molreps at
	     DISCLAIMER: I speak only for myself.

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