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In a setback to Gilead Sciences (GILD), a federal panel rejected its bid to invalidate a pair of patents owned by the U.S. government for using the Truvada pill to prevent HIV, a drug that has sparked controversy due to its cost and the extent to which taxpayer dollars funded crucial research.

The Patent Trial and Appeals Board ruled that Gilead failed to demonstrate it was likely to win its argument for overturning the patents held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which helped fund academic work into HIV prevention that later formed the basis for the best-selling medicine that is also known as PrEP (here is one ruling and here is the other).

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  • I am going to side with the gov’t on this one. HIV medicine is very expensive. I think I read somewhere, that yearly it can cost 80K. This is another reason the insurance premium goes up. If cost can be lowered for HIV patient, that is good.

    On the side, Gilead is working with China on remdevisir for treating corona virus. And now China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology applied for a patent for the remdevisir. Talk about a dog biting the hand that feeds it.

    In the next epidemic outbreak in China, biotech company will think twice before stepping in to have their unlicensed medicine tested in China.

    Even if the reason given is national security, it is very shortsighted. Gilead invested money to developed remdevisir, and China can spend 1 billion US dollar without hurting itself to get access to that drug without biting the hands that is helping them. Another stupid decision from Wuhan.

    Maybe it is about time to get a new CEO and board for Gilead.

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