Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lloyd Conover, Inventor of Groundbreaking Antibiotic, Dies at 93; New York Times, March 12, 2017

Denise Gellene, New York Times; 

Lloyd Conover, Inventor of Groundbreaking Antibiotic, Dies at 93

"With tetracycline’s commercial success, however, came a slew of patent challenges. Three pharmaceutical companies claimed that their scientists had discovered tetracycline before Dr. Conover, although their patent applications were filed later. After Pfizer licensed tetracycline to its competitors to end the dispute, the federal government challenged the licensing deals as anticompetitive, along with the validity of the patent.

“I had essentially a second career, preparing for and giving depositions and testifying,” Dr. Conover wrote in a 1984 article in the journal Research Management.

At scientific meetings, he wrote, he felt a coolness from peers who thought that his patent claim was false. A federal appeals court in Philadelphia finally affirmed the patent — and, by extension, the licensing agreements — in 1982, three decades after Dr. Conover invented tetracycline."

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