IPR as key part of life science startup IsoFirms

From the very beginning, the people behind IsoFirms knew that to create a strong platform for the commercialization of a new ingredient, they had to integrate IPR in their strategy.

IsoFirms is a life science-oriented startup and one of the companies that have engaged Plougmann Vingtoft for IPR consulting. Through research and regulatory work, IsoFirms has made a surprising discovery on the growth and health-promoting ingredient, Isosteviol, which has been used on pigs for this patent.

Expressed in exact terms, Isosteviol is a diterpene that acts by increasing the transport of sugar in form of glucose into the muscle cells. This results predominantly in a greater muscle growth. In the case of pigs, this has several health promoting and disease protecting effects, e.g., the prevention of diarrhea, and an improved digestion by enhanced feed conversion efficiency.

We knew from the beginning how important it was to have the IPR part sorted out, because this was our whole foundation. If we make a mistake in the area of IPR, there is no do-over.

Randi Søndergaard, CEO of IsoFirms

Plougmann Vingtoft became involved early on in the development phase and was a helpful sparring partner when it came to designing the trials to be used in the patent application.

Randi Søndergaard
CEO IsoFirms

”There are incredibly many aspects of IPR and patent applications that a company needs to pay attention to, says Randi Søndergaard. She is the CEO of IsoFirms, a startup that began its journey only nine months ago, and one of the company’s two inventors – the other being Gunnar Kvistgaard.

”We knew from the beginning how important it was to have the IPR part sorted out, because this was our whole foundation. If we make a mistake in the area of IPR, there is no do-over. Many roads may lead to Rome, but there is no reasoning in taking the long way round. In reality, we only have one shot,” Randi Søndergaard emphasizes.

For that reason, Randi Søndergaard prioritized spending the newly started company’s resources on expert advice on IPR.

”It was worth every penny,” Randi Søndergaard concludes.

”Plougmann Vingtoft helped us put things into perspective and made certain that IsoFirms’ patent applications did not become unnecessary limiting, so that we don’t prevent ourselves from a possible broadened use of the product in the future”, Randi Søndergaard explains and continues:

”Plougmann Vingtoft has a professional insight into our field, which means that I’m not left with a feeling of talking with simple attorneys, but actual technical specialists, who talk our language and understand our field. It demands a certain commercial touch to make this a success. And that is what Plougmann Vingtoft possesses. Apart from that, I also benefit from having a close advisory partner to play the role of the devil’s advocate and pose those highly annoying, but crucial, questions.

And away we go!

The next step for IsoFirms is to find one or more partners in the feed manufacturing industry to help sell their product to pig farmers – at least to begin with. The first stop is Denmark, then the EU, and finally the world, and this is especially where the power of patent protection plays a significant role.

Other plans for the future include further studies with Isosteviol by other produce yielding animals, such as fish, poultry, and insects. As a food product the focus will be to relieve sports injuries, formation of muscles, and as a special nutrition for elderly persons, who need to maintain their physique or re-build their physical condition after a long period of inactivity, e.g., after an operation.

In virtue of a strong board of directors with Rasmus Færch as chairperson, IsoFirms is well prepared for the introduction of Isosteviol to animals as well as humans.

Plougmann Vingtoft has a professional insight into our field, which means that I’m not left with a feeling of talking with simple attorneys, but actual technical specialists, who talk our language and understand our field.

Randi Søndergaard, CEO of IsoFirms

For the future growth of the company, it is necessary that the patents follow its development, and to achieve that goal Randi Søndergaard has every intention of using a close sparring partner and IPR consultant as Plougmann Vingtoft.

This article was originally published in Dansk Biotek/Indblik+ (in Danish ) 26. January 2021.

Get in touch with Plougmann Vingtoft’s IPR consultants here.

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