2019.05.17 「Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc. v. Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. et al」 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS Case 1:15-cv-13443-PBS

2019年5月17日、米国地裁は、PD-1に関する所謂「本庶特許」について、Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteのFreeman博士とWood博士の二名が共同発明者であるとの判決を下しました。以下、判決文の一部を引用。

“Dr. Honjo reached out to Dr. Wood to find PD-L1 because he did not fully understand the biological mechanism of the PD-1 signaling pathway. While Dr. Honjo knew that activation of PD-1 has an inhibitory effect, he did not know that PD-L1 triggers this effect when it binds to PD-1 or how strong the inhibitory signal is.”

“Dr. Freeman and Dr. Wood discovered that anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies can block the pathway’s inhibitory signal. Dr. Wood conducted an experiment using one of Dr. Honjo’s anti-PD-1 antibodies that showed blockage of the PD1/PD-L1 pathway, and both Dr. Freeman and Dr. Wood developed their own anti-PD-L1 blocking antibodies. They communicated these results to Dr. Honjo at multiple collaboration meetings before the date of conception.”

“It is clear Dr. Honjo and his colleagues were focused on the relationship between PD-1 and autoimmune disease, not cancer, before the collaboration with Dr. Freeman and Dr. Wood began.”

“Even if it is not clear who was the first to contribute the idea of blocking the pathway to treat cancer, Dr. Freeman and Dr. Wood made the contributions described above as part of a collaboration aimed at developing a treatment for cancer, and they all understood and communicated with excitement the connection between their discoveries relating to the pathway and cancer. Ultimately, conception of the inventions in the Honjo patents was the result of the collaboration of all three scientists.”