The Brazilian PTO published on May 9th, 2018 Rule # 217/2018, which modifies former Rule # 80/2013 related to the fast-track examination of patent applications related to pharmaceutical products and processes, as well as equipment and material related to public health.

According to the new Rule, besides AIDS, cancer and neglected diseases, patent applications directed to rare diseases, Chikungunya and Zika (the last two included in the list of neglected diseases) are also eligible to participate in this fast-track examination.

Regarding rare diseases, the Brazilian PTO defined them as those that affect up to 65 people per 100,000 subjects or 1.3 people per 2,000 subjects, in accordance with the definition of World Health Organization (WHO).

In view of this, new Rule # 217/2018 extends the possibilities to request fast-track examination of patent applications related to the pharma and biotech field.