WASHINGTON—Resolution of the dispute between American and French researchers over credit for discovery of the AIDS virus and the development of blood tests for the antibody has delighted the science community. But the related decision to create an international AIDS research foundation is being viewed with skepticism by many experts in the field.

Under the agreement, announced March 31 by President Ronald Reagan and French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and France's Pasteur Institute will share the patent for blood test kits and each will donate 80 percent of the royalties to the foundation. Private funds will also be solicited to sponsor grants for AIDS research and education. At least 25 percent of the money will be earmarked for efforts in developing countries.

The market for diagnostic kits in the United States alone is roughly $50 million a year, said Jeffrey Swarz, a...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?