How to Protect Your Intellectual Property as a Biotech Startup

Biotechs always start with great scientific ideas, but if you can’t protect them, you can’t see them through to execution. Companies need to start developing long-term intellectual property strategies almost as early as they are devising the ideas that need protecting.

Experts say that the right intellectual property (IP) strategy for a new biotech depends on the source IP, the timing of the discoveries, the potential applications of the technology, and how creative the  company can be within the competitive landscape. 

Broad to narrow

“At the very beginning, try to understand the promise and breadth of a particular idea,” says Leda Trivinos, Partner at US Life Sciences VC Flagship Pioneering, who focuses on IP protection. Flagship’s portfolio includes messenger RNA company Moderna Therapeutics and three biotechs that have had their initial public offerings (IPOs) in the past year: Foghorn Therapeutics, Sigilon Therapeutics, and Sana Biotechnology.

Flagship’s approach to company formation means foundational IP is developed in-house by researchers and entrepreneurs with experience developing an idea with commercial potential.

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