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For the second time this month, Gilead Sciences (GILD) has lost a bid to invalidate patents owned by the U.S. government for using the Truvada pill to prevent HIV, which has been at the center of controversy over its cost and the extent to which taxpayer dollars funded key research.

The Patent Trial and Appeals Board ruled Gilead failed to demonstrate it was likely to win its argument for overturning two 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 pill, also known as PrEP (here is one decision and here is the other). The board issued a similar ruling on Feb. 5 concerning challenges Gilead filed against two other CDC patents (see this and this).


In its challenges, Gilead maintained published materials show “well before HHS claims to have invented” the concept of HIV prevention in 2006, “others had conceived of using an antiretroviral therapy, including Truvada” to prevent infection with the virus. Gilead was referring to 2005 guidelines published by the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Services and AIDS Partnership California.

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