UPenn sues Sloan-Kettering president for $1B over alleged stolen research

The President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is facing a more than $1 billion lawsuit from the cancer center at the University of Pennsylvania--his former employer--over what the latter says is taking its research to fuel his own biotech company, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Bloomberg reported.

The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at Penn is accusing Craig B. Thompson of swiping valuable research, although the complaint does not cite any specific patents, The New York Times reported.

"There's no real specific allegation here as to what research it is that he either failed to disclose to Penn or that Agios is actually using," attorney Allan J. Arffa told NYT.

The Institute claims Thompson's actions deprived it of proceeds that could support future research, causing it damages that could exceed $1 billion.

The lawsuit also names both Agios and Celgene, who partnered with Agios on new cancer remedies, as defendants.

"It is unfortunate that the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute has chosen to go down this path," Thompson said.

The battle between the country's most prestigious cancer centers draws legal questions into intellectual property of academic work. As FierceBiotech noted, research institutions are heightening the security around that work and safeguarding the potential revenue from it.

For more information:
- read the Bloomberg article
- read the NYT article
- here's the FierceBiotech article

Related Articles:
Mayo Clinic patent case goes to Supreme Court
Is big pharma cooking up the current drug shortage?
Hospitals running out of drugs, seeking medication alternatives