ABA International Section Life Sciences Conference in Copenhagen, June 10-12, 2018
Some of the most innovative practitioners and academics from both sides of the Atlantic gathered at the ABA International Section Life Sciences Conference in Copenhagen this week to exchange ideas and news on developments in the life sciences business and to grapple with the legal challenges facing competitors and practitioners in the industry, amongst them KNOETZL‘s litigation partner, Katrin Hanschitz, Co-Chair of the ABA International Life Sciences and Health Law Committee.
The legal issues arising from rapidly-evolving technological advancements – including next-generation sequencing, wearable and regenerative implanted health care devices, breakthroughs in gene and immunotherapy, the use of real-world evidence (RWE), data analytics, blockchain and AI as well as the the increasing interconnectedness of electronic devices – dominated the discussions. In view of the global nature of the business, litigators and in-house counsel considered the sophisticated litigation strategy pharmaceuticals need to put in place well in advance in order to cope with potentially concurrent product liability, patent, regulatory and, in a worst case scenario, criminal proceedings in multiple jurisdictions.
Heated discussions ensued, both on and off the panels, spurred on by many complex and thorny ethical and social responsibility issues: How much data protection is enough? How much incentive is required in the form of patent and exclusivity protection to drive R&D? Should first-to-market generics and biosimilars receive market protection? And one particularly pointed question was posed in the title of one panel: “Who lives, who dies, who receives treatment and who gets to decide?“
While the participants may well be taking home more questions than answers, they will certainly have profited from the opportunity to learn from each other and from having an enhanced understanding of how these issues can be strategically deployed to advantage life sciences business and disputes and how they are affecting the industry around the globe.
If you wish to discuss these developments as they may apply to your pharmaceutical or other life science enterprise, please contact your usual KNOETZL relationship lawyer or Katrin Hanschitz.