Gilead Sciences defeats US government lawsuit alleging HIV drug patent infringement


The logo of the Gilead Sciences pharmaceutical company is seen in Oceanside, California on April 29, 2020.

Mike Blake | reuters

A Delaware federal court jury approved Tuesday Gilead Sciences US government civil claims that the company infringed a patent held by the Centers for Disease and Prevention for an HIV prevention drug.

The government sued Gilead in 2019, arguing that the company was making a profit. CDC through the Company’s sales of Truvada patents and descovyoral medications to prevent HIV infection,

But jurors after a multi-day trial found that the government’s patent claims HIV prevention called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or to presentwere not valid.

“Today’s decision reaffirms our long-standing belief that we have the right to make Truvada and Descovy available for PrEP to those who need it,” Deb Tellman, Gilead’s general counsel, said in a statement.

“Gilead will continue to champion collaborations, including our efforts with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC, that span more than 15 years, as we work to end the HIV epidemic for everyone, everywhere. work together toward our common goal of doing.” Telman said.

HHS, the parent organization of the CDC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision.

According to the company’s financial statements, Gilead’s worldwide combined sales of Truvada and Descovy are expected to be about $2 billion in 2022.

The government claimed that in the mid-2000s the CDC found that two drugs, emtricitabine and tenofovir, were highly effective in preventing HIV infection.

Truvada and Descovy both contain emtricitabine and tenofovir. But Gilead said it invented these drugs, and that the concept of using Truvada to prevent HIV was well known when the US government applied for the patent.

PrEP has played an important role in reducing the number of new HIV infections in communities that face high risk from the virus, such as men who have sex with other men.

Scientists have tried for decades to develop a vaccine against HIV. But those efforts have so far been unsuccessful.

According to the World Health Organization, about 40 million people worldwide have died of HIV since the epidemic began in the 1980s. More than 80 million people have been infected.

According to WHO data, in 2021, 38 million people were suffering from HIV.

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