Gene therapy products have entered the clinic, but the field still faces basic issues of how to deliver genes to specific tissues and how to express the genes appropriately once they have been delivered. GeneMedicine Inc. staked its claim to one delivery method when it announced last week the issuance of patents in the U.S. and Europe covering its cationic lipid technology.

GMED said it has no plans to license the technology. So depending on the priority and breadth of the patent, the company could force competitors to decide whether they now must choose another delivery method for their own gene therapies. As usual, the outcome won't be known for years.