PARIS - Neurotech SA, of Evry, has been granted 19 new patents over the past 10 months, four of them in the United States. The company, which specializes in cell therapy and the delivery of proteins to the eye and central nervous system, now holds a total of 199 patents worldwide, 65 of them in the U.S., and has 92 applications pending.

Its patent portfolio was given a boost in December 1999 by the purchase of the encapsulated cell technology of StemCell Inc. (formerly CytoTherapeutics Inc.). That enabled Neurotech to acquire and repatriate to France some 60 existing U.S. patents and a further 26 patent applications filed in the U.S., in what it describes as a unique example in the biotechnology industry of a European company acquiring and importing American technology.

A number of the patents it holds or has applied for provide protection for its own interactive cell therapy technology, which is already being tested in man for brain tumors. The first compound spawned by this in-house research program, NCT 121, is Neurotech's lead compound and is in Phase I/II clinical trials for the treatment of brain cancer. - James Etheridge

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