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Tufts University Neurologist’s New Use Patent for a Well-Known Pharmaceutical

Case Background

Topiramate (commercially known in the U.S. as Topamax®) is a well-known antiepileptic drug that was first approved in the U.S. in 1996. A neurologist at Tufts University, who prescribed the drug to many of his patients, realized over time that his epileptic patients who had migraine headaches were relieved of their migraines as well.

New Use Patent Applications and Licensing Success

A team led by O&R partner Lee Crews worked on behalf of Tufts to file a series of patent of applications to cover this new use. The drug is marketed now, and the three granted patents were initially licensed to Johnson & Johnson.