Critical to our business success is the ability to obtain and maintain enforceable intellectual property rights adequate to protect our innovations for candidate drugs and our drug discovery and platform technologies to provide exclusivity and licensable rights. Additionally, our success also depends on operating without infringing or otherwise violating the proprietary rights of others and dissuading others from infringing our own intellectual property.
Our current patent portfolio comprises over 66 patent families including approximately 326 issued patents and 214 patent applications, covering key territories, including the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Canada, China and Japan. Our portfolio comprises patents that we own or license exclusively, or as a consequence from collaborations and historical dealings jointly with third parties.
On August 11, 2020, a US patent (US 10,738,287 B2) relating to the Mini-G technology was granted in the name of Heptares Therapeutics Limited. This is the first granted patent from the Mini-G patent family (WO 2017/129998 A1) which is pending in territories including Europe, China, Japan, Australia and Canada. The inventors of technology are Byron Carpenter, Andrew Leslie, Rony Nehmé, Christopher Tate and Antony Warne from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.
Mini-G proteins are the GTPase domains of Gα subunits, which have been engineered, by truncation and point mutation, for high stability. They retain coupling to G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and are able to recapitulate the increase in agonist affinity observed upon coupling of a native heterotrimeric G protein.