Chinese scientists ask for patent on US drug to fight virus

BEIJING (AP) — Scientists in the city at the center of China’s virus outbreak have applied to patent a drug made by U.S. company Gilead Sciences Inc. to treat the disease, possibly fueling more of the conflict over technology policy that helped trigger Washington’s tariff war with Beijing.

The government-run Wuhan Institute of Virology said this week it applied for the patent in January along with a military laboratory.

An institute statement said it acted to “protect national interests.” Granting its own scientists a patent might give the Chinese government leverage in negotiations over paying for the drug. But it also might fuel complaints Beijing abuses its regulatory system to pressure foreign companies to hand over valuable technology.

Categories: Coronavirus, National News