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In the late 1990s and 2000s, Pascual and other pharmaceutical companies marketing lagundi-based cough medicines increased the pace of their advertising campaigns. As of 2006, Pascual had television commercials running over the course of popular morning shows, as well as radio and billboard advertisements.

Other companies followed suit, and their success increased interest in licensing the technology. In 2009, Herbs and Nature Corporation entered into a licensing agreement and launched its own lagundi-based cough medicine, and this was followed in 2010 by New Market Link Pharmaceutical Corporation, Herbcare, and Pharmacare, which also introduced lagundi-based cough medicine. for cough based on lagundi.

Trademark registration application

A critical part of the success of the efforts undertaken by Pascual and other companies lies in the renewed brand image they helped create in relation to lagundi, which was facilitated by the strong brand names each company created for their respective products.

Pascual realized the need to protect the popular names of his brands, so in January 2011 he applied to IP Philippines to register the trademarks Ascof, Ascof Lagundi, as well as a stylized logo that includes the image of a lagundi leaf.

These efforts paid off, as by early 2011 the company’s lagundi-based cough medicines had become the second most popular cough medicine in the Philippines. In February 2009, Trevenodd Corporation (Trevenodd), a newcomer to the industry, applied for Plemex trademark registration for its lagundi-based cough medicine, which was obtained in August of the same year.

Technology transfer

Until 2009, technology transfer related to lagundi-based tablets and syrup was done through licensing agreements between the PCHRD, a government entity, and the private sector. However, under Republic Act No. 10055, also known as the “Philippines Technology Transfer Act of 2009” (the Act), technology developed with the help of government funding must be fully transferred to entities such as universities or companies that can transform this technology into useful products and services.

The purpose of this Law is to promote and facilitate the transfer and dissemination of IP, technology and knowledge derived from Government-funded R&D, as well as its effective use, management and commercialization for the benefit of the economy. nation and all the people of the Philippines.

Technology transferBased on this new policy, PCHRD formally transferred the lagundi-based cough syrup formula to UPM, which would then have to continue R&D, licensing and marketing activities.

In October 2010, Azarias Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Inc. (Azarias) applied to UPM, thus becoming the first lagundi syrup licensee within this new framework.

Following the evaluation and recommendation of the PCHRD, the agreement was officially signed in January 2011, which was the first licensing agreement to be concluded in the Philippines between a public R&D organization (UPM) and a private company (Azarias) since the Law was ratified in 2010.

Business results

In 1994, when the lagundi-based cough medicine was first introduced to the market, it faced an undercurrent of skepticism against it. However, thanks to a succession of lucrative licensing deals and joint efforts to improve the image of herbal medicines and lagundi-derived products, the drug has proven to be a success both for the various companies that have marketed it and for the NIRPROMP, the PCHRD and the DOST.

An example of this is the rapid increase in royalties received by DOST, which went from 160,000 Philippine pesos (approximately US$4,000) in 1997 to 9,751,000 Philippine pesos (approximately US$210,000). .) in 2009.

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