Nijmegen, the Netherlands - On 9 February 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied institution of Forty Seven Inc.’s petitions for inter partes review of the US 9,352,037 patent which was issued in May 2016.

The two petitions for review of the claims granted were filed with the USPTO in August 2016. The Board determined that Forty Seven has not shown a reasonable likelihood that it would prevail in establishing the unpatentability of claim 1 or claim 2 of the US 9,352,037 patent. Forty Seven has submitted requests for the rehearing of the USPTO decisions. 

US 9,352,037, owned by Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation, and its foreign family members – including EP 2 282 772 - have been exclusively licensed to Synthon Biopharmaceuticals BV and relate to the use of antibodies which block the CD47-SIRPα interaction in combination with therapeutic antibodies for treating cancer.

Earlier, on 29 November 2016, the opposition division of the European Patent Office (EPO) rejected an opposition filed by Blink Biomedical in 2014, and ignored the content of two anonymous third-party observations, against Sanquin’s EP 2 282 772. Blink Biomedical has submitted an appeal against the EPO decision.

These decisions greatly strengthen Synthon’s intellectual property position in the immuno-oncology area. Interfering with immune checkpoints such as PD-1/PD-L1 and CD47/SIRPα to treat cancer is currently of great interest.


About Synthon

Synthon, with headquarters in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is an international pharmaceutical company and a leader in the field of generic medicines. The company started its biopharmaceutical franchise in 2007 and is building a promising portfolio of next generation medicines. Synthon is developing rapidly into a specialty pharmaceutical company, focusing on the therapeutic areas of oncology and auto-immune diseases. Synthon products are currently approved by regulatory agencies in over 90 countries worldwide and marketed through strategic partnerships and – in dedicated areas – through direct sales. Synthon employs about 1,900 staff worldwide, and in 2016 it recorded a turnover of EUR 258 million. For more information, go to

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