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Gilead wins billion-dollar patent lawsuit for HIV drug

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) filed a lawsuit against Gilead Sciences for patent infringement on Truvada and Descovy, which are used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention.

Gilead Sciences, the maker of HIV drugs, has won a patent lawsuit brought by the US government over Truvada and Descovy, which are used as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention, Reuters reports.

A federal jury in Delaware ruled that Gilead Sciences did not infringe on patents and that the government's patent claims were invalid.

"We are pleased with today's favorable jury verdict in the District of Delaware, in which Gilead was successful on all counts," said Deb Telman, Gilead's Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel, in a statement. "The jury determined that Gilead did not infringe on the US government's patents and that the patents are invalid."

Telman continued, "Today's decision reaffirms our long-standing confidence that we have always had the rights to manufacture Truvada and Descovy for PrEP, which is available to all who need it. Gilead will continue to support collaboration, including our more than 15-year effort with the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as we all work together towards our shared goal of fully eradicating the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere."

In November 2019, the federal government filed a complaint on behalf of the CDC over the PrEP patents. Earlier that year, activist group PrEP4All claimed that the CDC holds the patent for the use of Truvada as PrEP, as researchers with federal grants (and additional funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) first proved the drug's effectiveness as a prevention tool. Activists demanded that Gilead pay them royalties to fund a national HIV prevention program to make the drug available to everyone, regardless of their financial means.

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