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American taxpayers may have provided $162 million toward researching remdesivir, but the federal government does not have patent rights for the drug because the work contributed by U.S. scientists did not generate any inventive new uses, according to a government report.

Moreover, Gilead Sciences, which discovered remdesivir, had already reached collaborative research deals with various federal agencies and universities to work on its existing portfolio of patents and patent applications, including for the remdesivir compound. And this “would have left little room for the agencies to generate their own patents, the Government Accountability Office found.

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