Industry Briefs

Biotechnology has really hit the big time: big opportunity, big profits, and now—big crime. On August 11, former Amgen research associate John Stephen Wilson was arrested by the FBI in the first biotech “sting” operation. Wilson allegedly offered Genetics Institute, Cambridge, Mass., an explanation of how to manufacture erythropoietin, an anti-anemia drug that is Amgen’s lead product. He has been accused of trying to sell the information—valued at $50 million by

The Scientist Staff
Oct 2, 1988

Biotechnology has really hit the big time: big opportunity, big profits, and now—big crime. On August 11, former Amgen research associate John Stephen Wilson was arrested by the FBI in the first biotech “sting” operation. Wilson allegedly offered Genetics Institute, Cambridge, Mass., an explanation of how to manufacture erythropoietin, an anti-anemia drug that is Amgen’s lead product. He has been accused of trying to sell the information—valued at $50 million by the FBI—to Genetics Institute for $200000. Gabriel Schmergel, CEO of 420-employee Genetics Institute, notified Amgen immediately after he received the alleged offer. Affirmed a spokesperson: “We would never be interested” in that sort of skullduggery. In any case, it may well be that the information couldn’t have told GI much that it didn’t already know—both firms are currently producing erythropoietin and are embroiled in a patent dispute over the product. Although the importance of protecting intellectual property has been...

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