Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (Jacquelyn Martin, AP Images/File)

Sanders goes af­ter NIH for grant­i­ng ex­clu­sive patent for po­ten­tial can­cer ther­a­py

Sen­ate Health Com­mit­tee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is call­ing on the HHS in­spec­tor gen­er­al to in­ves­ti­gate an NIH pro­pos­al to grant an ex­clu­sive patent li­cense to a small and “ob­scure” phar­ma com­pa­ny for a po­ten­tial CAR-T treat­ment for cer­vi­cal can­cer, de­vel­oped so far with NIH funds.

In a let­ter penned to HHS In­spec­tor Gen­er­al Christi Grimm Mon­day af­ter­noon, Sanders takes is­sue with an NIH pro­pos­al pub­lished last month to grant an ex­clu­sive patent li­cense to the com­pa­ny Scar­let TCR for a gene ther­a­py to treat cer­vi­cal can­cer. He said the ther­a­py, which could po­ten­tial­ly be worth bil­lions, was de­vel­oped by the NIH, al­though it re­mains un­clear how the CAR-T’s po­ten­tial worth was de­ter­mined.

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