University sues Pfizer over COX-2 research

Brigham Young University says its research was misappropriated to develop Pfizer's Celebrex

Juhi Yajnik
Oct 26, 2006
Brigham Young University and Daniel Simmons, a researcher in its Department of Chemistry and Biology, have filed a lawsuit alleging that Monsanto, a precursor company to Pfizer, misappropriated Simmons' research on COX-2 to develop its blockbuster painkiller Celebrex.The suit, filed against Pfizer in the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, comes after more than five years of discussions between the parties, including failed efforts at mediation earlier this year. "We know what we are dealing with, and we are prepared to persevere," BYU spokesperson Michael Smart told The Scientist. According to the plaintiffs, Monsanto entered a contract with BYU and Simmons in 1991 to partner on the development of painkillers that targeted COX-2, but left COX-1 unaffected. Simmons and BYU claim that Monsanto subsequently used their research methodologies and data to develop Celebrex outside of the partnership in order to avoid having to share the profits....