1980: The Bayh-Dole Act is passed.
This event set the stage for the gold rush to the patent office--not only in the U.S., but also in Europe, as evidenced by Barbara Johnson's (CDC officer) multiple patents with SmithKline in Europe. We also saw Alan Barbour's 30+ patents, and Yale's patents for both LYMErix (5,747,294) and the only valid test method for diagnosing both bad-knee Lyme and neuroborreliosis (5,618,533).
It became clear at this time that the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention became laser-focused on "prevention" by way of vaccines.
Here is a paper by MIT student David Levenson on the consequences of the Bayh-Dole Act.