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Gilead Sciences won a key round in its battle with the U.S. government over allegations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breached several contracts and “secretly” obtained patents stemming from research that led to the groundbreaking Truvada pill for preventing HIV.

As part of a broader fight with the agency over research and resulting patent rights to the medication, the company had filed a lawsuit in 2020 alleging the CDC violated the terms of a 15-year-old collaboration. At issue was the contention that the agency failed to notify Gilead of patents that were later sought and awarded on the research that led to Truvada.


The effort involved four “material transfer” agreements for which Gilead provided compounds to the CDC, which funded academic work into the use of antivirals for preventing HIV. In another deal, the company provided antivirals for a clinical trial in Botswana. The deals, which kicked off years of research, were reached in 2004, and the CDC  obtained patents more than a decade later.

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