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Here’s to the creators and inventors of tomorrow (Guest Blog)

Today is World Intellectual Property Day. More than intellectual property itself, it is the women and men behind it that we celebrate today. The researchers, the scientists, all the creative and inventive minds who every day do their best to push back the frontiers of arts and sciences. They relentlessly try until they reach the other side, where everything is possible, even if we do not know it yet. They have made their mission to challenge our understanding, our mindset, and ultimately our limits.

In the pharmaceutical world, scientists everywhere go to work every day with one objective, or rather one challenge: improve the understanding of diseases and ultimately improve the standard of care for these diseases so that patients can live longer and healthier lives.

As a result, about 7,000 medicines are in development globally today and in many therapeutic areas. However, bringing them through the finish line, into actual solutions that can make a tangible difference for patients, is a particularly long and risky process. It is a long-distance and an obstacle race combined, more so than in any industry.

That is precisely why intellectual property is so instrumental for all the actors – individuals, companies, public, private – involved in pharmaceutical research and development. Obtaining IP protection is not why we do research. IP protection is only a means to our end.

How? Intellectual property enables any inventor or company to be acknowledged for its innovative contribution if this innovation is new and inventive. And critically to be rewarded if this innovation is  valuable to patients. IP thereby contributes to building companies’ and investors’ confidence, allowing them to continue investing and taking on the risks associated with pharmaceutical research in the long-term.

To ensure we continue to invest in world-class research and that patients can live better lives, we need a supportive and innovation-friendly environment. It is an environment where investors can take these risks, where trust and confidence can lead to real partnerships, where the value of innovation and the importance of IP are recognized, and where ultimately patients can have access to the innovative medicines, so that they can also be the creators and inventors of tomorrow.

A strong and vibrant Intellectual Property system is the key to true and constant improvement in the lives of all patients worldwide. 

Jean-Christophe Tellier

Jean-Christophe Tellier joined UCB in 2011. He became UCB’s Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2015 after having...
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