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A plan by the National Institutes of Health to award an exclusive license for a CAR-T therapy that was funded by U.S. taxpayers to a group of biotech venture capitalists has sparked concerns among advocacy groups over pricing and access in the U.S. and elsewhere.

At issue are patent rights for an acute myeloid leukemia treatment the agency recently indicated would be awarded to an obscure company called ElevateBio, which was created by four current or former partners at MPM Capital. The venture capital firm has invested in dozens of companies, including 23andMe and Pharmasset, which is credited with discovering the breakthrough Sovaldi hepatitis C medicine.

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