A new pressure group has been formed in the heat of the US presidential election campaign to protect the impact of the Bayh-Dole Act.

A new pressure group was formed by a consortium of US-based research and scientific organisations yesterday to protect the benefits of the Bayh-Dole Act.

The body, Bayh-Dole 40, will seek to publicise the impact of patented inventions from universities and other research organisations, which facilitate monetisation through spinouts and licensing agreements.

The name plays homage to the 40th anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act, under which intellectual property ownership is conferred to the inventing institution even when government grant funding has been utilised.

Bayh-Dole 40 aims to “educate” US lawmakers to ensure the provisions are maintained without impediment by congress.

Bayh-Dole is estimated to have spawned more than 11,000 startups, resulting in a $1.3 trillion boost in US economic output. More than 200 new drug therapies have launched since its enactment.

However, Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have called for price controls on certain government-funded inventions in the pharmaceutical sector.

Bayh-Dole 40’s founding members include Autm in addition to fellow trade bodies Biotechnology Innovation Organization, BioHealth Innovation, Council on Governmental Relations, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Licensing Executives Society and PhRMA.

Stephen Ezell, vice-president of global innovation policy, said: “Misusing Bayh-Dole to undermine the existing framework for public-private technology transfer and development, as some lawmakers are suggesting, would jeopardise the future of US life-sciences innovation.

“We look forward to engaging congress on these issues to ensure the US remains a life-sciences R&D powerhouse.”