Genomics Company Human Longevity Sues J. Craig Venter Institute

Genetics pioneer Craig Venter is not named as a defendant, but the company he founded alleges that he stole trade secrets.

Ashley Yeager
Jul 23, 2018

On Friday, July 20, the San Diego–based genomics company Human Longevity, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the J. Craig Venter Institute. The company has accused Craig Venter, who founded Human Longevity (HLI) and left in late May, of stealing trade secrets, according to The San Diego Union-Tribunealthough it is not suing Venter personally.

According to STAT News, Venter took the trade secrets on his company computer when he departed and then tried to use them to start a competing business, luring HLI investors and employees into his new venture. Before leaving, Venter had signed an agreement with HLI that he would not poach employees or investors.

In a statement provided to STAT News and The Union-Tribune, Steven Strauss, an attorney for the J. Craig Venter Institute, said the accusations were “baseless, without merit, and contain numerous factual errors.” The statement did not specify the errors,...

Strauss’s statement also says the institute would “vigorously defend against these allegations as the legal process advances.”

Last year, another of Venter’s companies, Synthetic Genomics, faced a suit for gender discrimination.

See “Synthetic Genomics Faces Gender Discrimination Suit