Tension between academic research and the commercial sector bubbled over yesterday in Federal Court in Philadelphia as the chief executive of deCODE Genetics testified against five former employees who left the Icelandic genetics firm earlier this year.deCODE contends the employees, four of whom are now working in the new Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), violated two-year non-compete clauses and confidentiality agreements in their deCODE employment contracts. The director of CHOP's new genomics center, Hakon Hakonarson, had been deCODE's vice president, business development.Lawyers for CHOP argued deCODE's interpretation of the agreements is overly broad and would prevent the scientists from ever working in genetics research after leaving the company. They also stressed that institutions receiving National Institutes of Health grants, including CHOP and deCODE, are obligated to try to turn their discoveries into cures under the Bayh-Dole Act.deCODE CEO Kari Stefansson testified that CHOP's...

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