Precision or personalized medicine seeks to find the right treatment for each patient at the right time based on the patient's genes, proteins and other personal characteristics. The approach has been successfully used to treat cancer. Indeed, many of the newly approved drugs in 2021 are cancer treatments.1

The USPTO initiated a Patents for Patients to support the $1 billion National Cancer Moonshot initiative launched on February 1, 2016. The program provides a fast-track examination program for patent applications that relate to cancer immunotherapy. As explained by the USPTO, the program aims to "cut the time it takes to review patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy in half by issuing final decisions in one year or less after they are received."2

The USPTO recently announced that the Patents 4 Patients program will be extended to January 31, 2023. The requirements and parameters for the program are the same as those first implemented on June 29, 2016. There is no additional fee to participate. Further information can be found here.


1 See, Personalized Medicine at the FDA: The Scope & Significance of Progress in 2021, reviewed at Personalized Medicine: 2021 FDA Guideposts for Progress - Focus on Therapeutics

2 See Patents for Patients

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