Tuesday, April 23, 2024

USPTO Rejects ATAI Life Sciences’ Ibogaine Co-Administration Patent Application: Implications and Insights

The application for patent 17/941,648 bu ATAI Life Sciences is being disapproved at non-final stage by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Their proposed combination treatment involving co-administration of Ibogaine with a metabolism inhibitor was intended to create safer psychotropic therapies.

Porta Sophia, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an ethical and equitable psychedelic patenting landscape, played an instrumental role in this rejection. Curating a public library of prior art containing psychedelic material, Porta Sophia challenged ATAI Life Sciences’ patent application citing lack of novelty and non-obviousness of claims presented within it.

The patent application filed on September 9, 2022 detailed a treatment that combined ibogaine with drugs that block its metabolism – such as CYP2D6 inhibitors – in order to reduce production of noribogaine, an unwanted byproduct, while increasing systemic circulation of ibogaine. The application covered all drug combinations as well as dosage regimens.

USPTO issued a non-final rejection notice against all 29 claims of the application submitted by ATAI and found to be non-inventive, undermining novelty and non-obviousness, with 16 specifically citing prior art from Porta Sophia’s third-party preissuance submission as grounds. A peer reviewed scientific manuscript published in 2015 was specifically noted as being “the epitome of obviousness”, undermining novelty and non-obviousness, ultimately undercutting ATAI’s application – alongside numerous others found within Porta Sophia’s public library of psychedelic prior art.

This development highlights the critical significance of third-party submissions of prior art under the America Invents Act, which allow external parties to provide relevant prior art that facilitates more comprehensive examination of patent applications. Furthermore, this process encourages applicants to disclose previously submitted prior art for other relevant patent applications within their portfolio promoting transparency and fairness throughout the patenting process.

Porta Sophia of Madison, Wisconsin, specializes in collecting prior art for psychedelic therapies from scientific, historical and cultural sources. Their Archival Researcher Network (ARN) helps ensure community involvement by inviting submissions from public submissions as well as organizing multidisciplinary research. Their goal is to preserve public domain items while encouraging innovation while supporting valid patents – ultimately contributing to greater accessibility of such therapies on a broad scale.

Porta Sophia plays an indispensable role in upholding an equitable and ethical patenting environment, particularly within fields like psychedelic research. By curating relevant prior art and challenging invalid claims, they provide an environment conducive to true innovation while safeguarding public domain resources.

This case underscores the significance of conducting thorough prior art research prior to filing a patent application and keeping patenting processes transparent and honest. These safeguards are especially essential in rapidly evolving fields like psychedelic research where innovation needs to be balanced with equity.

Visit Porta Sophia for more information or to join its patent and prior art workflow: www.portasophia.org

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