Removing thimerosal from medications; MGP Biotechnologies, LLC; U.S. Pat. No. 7,767,872
August 16, 2010 2 Comments
Thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound that has been widely used as a preservative in vaccines. However, despite their usefulness, concerns regarding the theoretical neurotoxicity of such compounds have spurred efforts to reduce or eliminate thimerosal from vaccines. The ’872 patent discloses a system and method for removing thimerosal from medications at the time of administration of these medications to the patient.
MGP is an early-stage biotechnology company. According to a company presentation, its technology is based on the affinity of metallothionein proteins to bind to heavy metal atoms for use in medical treatments, water remediation, environmental cleanup, and recovery of precious metals. MGP’s initial target market is to develop “a point-of-use syringe filter for removal of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from flu vaccine.”
Because of a missed deadline for paying the issue fee, the ’872 patent almost did not get issued. In December 2009, the USPTO mailed out a Notice of Allowance that set March 4, 2010 as the deadline for paying the issue fee. When that date passed without MGP making the required payment, the application became abandoned. MGP was able to successfully petition the USPTO to revive the application by making the proper payment and stating that “the entire delay … was unintentional.”
According to the USPTO database, MGP has four issued U.S. patents, including the ’872 patent, and two pending U.S. patent applications.