Friday, 17 February 2017

Monday, 20 June 2016

Examination Papers A and B – Examination Board made mock papers available

With effect from 2017, a single Paper A and a single Paper B will be set each year. As for current Paper C and the Pre-Examination, Papers A and B will be set in technical fields that are accessible to everyone. The Examination Board has made  mock papers available for Paper A (examiner report) and Paper B (examiner report). The examiner reports are currently available in English only.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A-Chemistry 2016: First impressions?

To all who sat the A-paper today:

What are your first impressions to this year's A-paper?
Any general or specific comments?

How many marks do you expect to have scored?
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?
How did this year's paper compare to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 papers (assuming your practiced those)

The paper
Copies of the paper are available here

This blog
We are sorry to inform you that will not post answer to the A chemistry paper ourselves his year.
We do however want to give all chemistry candidates the opportunity to discuss the papers ands their answers here.

We look forward to your comments!
Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 03-03-2015 03:03"), whereas using your real name or a pseudonym is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation. You do not need to log in or make an account - it is OK to just put your (nick) name at the end of your post.

Please post your comments as to first impressions, general remarks as well as any details about the paper and your answer. Feel also free to discuss your answers.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Results Main Exam EQE 2015 now available!

Today, 2 July 2015, the results from the EQE Main Exam 2015 were made available on the EQE webpages (pdf), as a list showing the marks per EQE regnr. The pdf-file also indicates that the official results letters will be dispatched as of 14 July onwards, and that only the results as notified in the official results letter are legally binding.

Pass rates for each of the papers papers and score distributions are presented in our general EQE blog:

Monday, 2 March 2015

Our comments to A Chemistry 2015 (treatment of wrinkles)

A-Chemistry (English, French, German) is concerned with nanoemulsions for treatment of wrinkles.

D1 is concerned with the treatment of deeper wrinkles (see [001]). The document discloses the use of a conjugate of botulinum protein and a medium weight polyethylene glycol in a product called TEEN-KAR. The product is offered as an aqueous solution (see [003]). This product needs to be injected in the skin, although only once a year {see [002]). D1 is totally silent about the use of botulinum protein-PEG conjugates in the form of nanoemulsions, let alone the use of such nanoemulsions in creams that can directly be applied to and massaged into the skin to treat wrinkles. Moreover, D1 indicates that also other polymers could be used for the same purpose.
D2 describes nanoemulsions that can be used in a method of cosmetic treatment of wrinkles wherein the nanoemulsion may contain a botulinum protein (see [004]). The oil phase to be used in the nanoemulsion may be selected from a number of oils, including vegetable oils modified with polyethylene glycol.  However, in Example 1 use is made of a soy oil. Moreover, D2 is as such silent about botilinum-PEG conjagulates, as well as medium weight polyethylene glycols. The nanoemulsion may also contain a surfactant, whereby the ratio surfactant to oils is between 1:1 and 1:5 (see [008]). The latter clearly differs from [014] and Table 1 in the client’s letter. 

From the client’s letter the following passages are important for drafting the different claim categories:
  • Only botulinum protein-medium weigh PEG conjugates are suitable for treating wrinkles (see [007]), meaning PEGs with an average molecular weight of 2000 to 15000 Dalton are required.
  • It is essential that the conjugates used should be skin-friendly (see [008]). Hence, compositions 4 and 9 are no good (see Tables 2 and 3).
  • In nanoemulsions the average droplet size is at most 1000 nm (see [009] and [010]).
  • The skilled person knows that for making nanoemulsions an aqueous phase and an oil phase are needed (see [012]).
  • Obtaining a nanoemulsion by our method requires that the two phases are mixed and exposed to a pressure of at least 1000 bar for a period of at least 30 seconds to at most 10 minutes (see [013]).
  • The nanoemulsion is stirred into a commercially available cream (see [015]).
  • Suitable pipettes can be sold together with our cream as a kit (see [015], last line).
A possible set of claims can read as follows:
  1. A nanoemulsion comprising an aqueous phase, an oil phase, and a conjugate of botulinum protein and a polyethylene glycol, wherein the polyethylene glycol has an average molecular weight of 2000 to 15000 Dalton, and the nanoemulsion has an average droplet diameter of at most 1000 nm.
  2. The nanoemulsion according to claim 1 having an average droplet size of less than 200 nm.
  3. The nanoemulsion according to claim 1 or 2, wherein no droplets are present having a diameter of more than 500 nm.
  4. The nanoemulsion according to any one of claims 1-3, wherein the polytheylene glycol has an average molecular weight of 2000 to 10000 Dalton.
  5. The nanoemulsion according to any one of claims 1-4, in addition comprising a surfactant, wherein the weight ratio of surfactant to oil is 2:1 or more.
  6. The nanoemulsion according to claim 5, wherein the surfactant is lecithin.
  7. A method for preparing a nanoemulsion according to any one of claims 1-6, comprising the steps of:
    1. preparing the conjugate of botulinum protein and the polyethylene glycol;
    2. adding the conjugate of botulinum protein to the aqueous phase; and 
    3. mixing the aqueous phase as obtained in step (b) and the oil phase under a pressure of at least 1000 bar for a period of time of at least 30 seconds to at most 10 minutes to obtain the nanoemulsion.
  8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the pressure applied in step (c) is in the range of 1500 to 2000 bar.
  9. The process according to claim 7 or 8, wherein in step (c) also a surfactant is present, whereby the weight ratio of surfactant to oil is 2.1 or more.
  10. A cream comprising a nanoemulsion as defined in any one of claims 1-6.
  11. Kit of parts comprising the cream according to claim 10 and a pipette.
  12. Method of cosmetic treatment of wrinkles wherein the cream according to claim 10 is applied to a person’s face.
Claim 1 is believed to be both novel and inventive over both documents D1 and D2. Special reference is made to Tables 2 and 3.

From Tables 2 and 3 it becomes clear that only the conjugates with medium weight PEG provide the desired results. The other polymers do not provide the desired results. Moreover, when Table 3 is compared with Table 2 it is clear that the use of the nanoemulsion has a clearly positive effect on the wrinkle reduction (compare compositions 2 and 3 with compositions 7 and 8).

Looking forward to your comments!

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© Copyright DeltaPatents, 2015
All rights reserved. No part of this answer may be reproduced, used in any way for generating further course material or updates, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written consent of DeltaPatents.
The answer is made available for personal use only.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A-ch 2014: our independent claims

Our independent claims and our considerations for these claims are given below. A disclaimer applies here; we have no more knowledge of the solution than any of the candidates. So we may be on the wrong track. One should also realize that marks are not only available for the independent claims, but also for the dependent claims and the introductory part of the description. 

Your comments are highly appreciated!

Uit de brief blijkt dat alleen conclusies voor de methode en voor de oplossing nodig zijn. Naar de andere categorieën hoeft niet te worden gekeken (en zelfs indien juist zullen deze weinig punten opleveren).

D1 gaat over VIP2. Er staat nergens dat dit een type AB5 proteïne is en dus mag je ervan uitgaan dat dit een ander type is. De methode wordt daardoor niet direct beïnvloed door D1 (D1 geeft geen methode voor stabilisatie, alleen voor zuivering. Deze stap hoeft niet te worden geclaimd, dus het is niet eens van belang of VIP2 wel of niet van het AB5 type is).

In D2 wordt alleen gemuteerde CvT gebruikt (en geclaimd) in de PBS/CHAPS oplossingen. Natuurlijk CvT in oplossingen met PBS/CHAPS is daarom nieuw. De inventiviteit is dan te beargumenteren dat D2 niet openbaart dat deze oplossing een stabiliserende werking heeft. In D2 wordt de oplossing meteen na bereiding gebruikt [007] en het is dus inventief om deze oplossing te gebruiken voor dit doel (N.B. een tweede niet-medische gebruiksconclusie voor gemodificeerd CvT dringt zich op. Deze zal zoals gezegd weinig punten opleveren, als deze al goed wordt gerekend omdat er geen data gegeven worden dat de stabilisatie ook werkt voor deze gemuteerde CvT’s; Let op dat daarmee ook een niet-eenheidsprobleem ontstaat). Dan kan er nog gedacht worden of natuurlijk CvT geclaimd moet worden of breder AB5 type proteïnes. Er zijn geen data gegeven over andere AB5 proteïnes maar op de laatste blz [023] staat dat CvT alleen maar een voorbeeld is. Zie ook [014]. De “beperkte” CvT zou ik als afhankelijk claimen. 

De belangrijkste conclusies zijn m.i. dan ook:

1. Werkwijze voor het stabiliseren van een natuurlijk AB5-type proteïne bevattende oplossing waarin als stabiliserend middel wordt toegevoegd PSB met ten minste 0,05 gew% CHAPS of fosfaatbuffer pH 7,4 met ten minste 10 mmol arginine (7,4 moet er waarschijnlijk in omdat in [023] staat dat arginine werkt in de “respective buffers” en geen gegevens bekend zijn dat andere buffers hetzelfde effect geven). 

2. Gestabiliseerde natuurlijke AB5-type proteïne bevattende oplossing met een SF waarde hoger dan 70%, met het kenmerk, dat de oplossing PSB met ten minste 0,05 gew% CHAPS of fosfaatbuffer pH 7,4 met ten minste 10 mmol arginine bevat.

Tom Beetz

(English translation)

The letter suggests that only claims for the method and for solutions are necessary. It is therefore not necessary to look for other claim categories (and even when possible it is believed that not many marks will be awarded for such claims).

D1 relates to VIP2. It has not been disclosed that this is a type AB5 protein so that it may be assumed that this is of another type. The method is therefore not directly affected by D1 (D1 does not disclose a method of stabilization, only a method of purification. This purification step should not be claimed thus it is not even relevant whether or not VIP2 is of the AB5 type).

In D2 only mutant CvT is used (and claimed) in the PBS/CHAPS solutions. Therefore CvT in PBS/CHAPS solution is novel. Inventive step can then be argued on the basis that D2 does not disclose that this solution has a stabilizing action. In D2 the solution is used directly after its preparation [007] thus it is inventive to use this solution for this purpose.  (Note that a second non-medical use claim emerges for modified CvT. Such claim will probably not be awarded with many marks as indicated above, and moreover it is questionable whether such claim is acceptable since no data are given showing that mutant CvT’s are also stabilized by this solution. Note further that it introduces a non-unity problem). Another problem is the question whether naturally CvT must be claimed of broader  AB5 type proteins. No data have been given for other AB5 proteins but on the final page [023] it has been disclosed that CvT is only an example. See also [014]. I would claim the “narrow” CvT as a dependent claim. 

The most important claims are believed to be:

1. Process for stabilizing a naturally AB5-type protein containing solution wherein PSB with at least 0.05 wt% CHAPS or phosphate buffer pH 7.4 with at least 10 mmol arginine is added as stabilizing agent (It is believed that 7.4 should be added because in [023] it has been said that arginine works in the “respective buffers” and no data are available that other buffers have a similar effect). 

2. Stabilized naturally AB5-type protein containing solution with an SF value higher than 70%, characterized in that the solution contains PSB with at least 0.05 wt% CHAPS or phosphate buffer pH 7.4 with at least 10 mmol arginine.

Tom Beetz

Monday, 3 March 2014

Paper A ch available

Paper A ch is available via this link.

Our comments will be posted in due course.