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UCB celebrates World Intellectual Property Day

Elise Melon, Intellectual Property Policy & Operations
Posted by
Elise Melon, Global Legal Affairs

Every year, April 26 is the opportunity for innovators and creators around the world to reflect and highlight the many ways Intellectual Property (IP) impacts our lives. For UCB, IP is a cornerstone of our ambition to enable people living with severe diseases to live their best lives, now and in the future. The IP system has been playing an instrumental role in the development of many of the medicines that are available today, as well as future medicines, which are currently in our pipeline. This year the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has chosen to celebrate Women in Innovation and Creativity! Over the last few days we have been honored to hear the reflections of UCB colleagues on the importance of IP to spur and deliver innovation, on the importance of promoting equity, and critically, on the need to foster innovation for women.

At UCB, women represent over half of our total employees worldwide. We recognize the continuing need to promote equity and are striving to achieve this, including at executive level. As Iris Loew-Friedrich Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, put it, “Equity is not a nice to have, it is a MUST have. Equity needs to be on our mind all the time, we need to value and embrace it in our thinking and actions.” 

As pointed out by Marianne Fraiture, the Global Head of Diversity Equity & Inclusion, “In addition to our efforts to attract a diverse range of candidates, we developed the Empowered Females STEM Mentoring Program, to inspire the next generation of women to embark on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) career. As an example, our gender diversity for gene therapy teams stands above the curve, with 47% of new hires being women compared to a market average of 33%.”  

UCB also aims at making a significant difference in supporting women living with chronic disease to live full, innovative, creative and productive lives (learn more at AdvantageHers.com). Women are underrepresented in clinical trials, which can negatively impact women's health. This is even more pronounced for pregnant and breastfeeding women: only 1.7% of clinical trials include pregnant women. UCB is committed to closing this gap in partnership with clinical teams, physicians, and patients around the world. 

Our ambition is for our innovation to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases, and to that purpose, patients and their individual experiences are at the heart of everything we do, including in our approach to IP. At UCB, we believe our ability to deliver innovative solutions to patients, now and into the future, and in a way which is sustainable for UCB, for patients and for society can only be supported by a responsible vision and practice of IP, guided by patient and societal value.  Discover our approach to IP here.

On this World IP Day, we hope you will join us in celebrating the role of intellectual property in creating patient value and the women and men who push beyond the boundaries of what’s possible and help us shape the future and deliver hope for new solutions. 

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