IP Lawsuits Settled

Two lawsuits against prominent researcher Craig Thompson for allegedly failing to share intellectual property with his institution lead to a licensing agreement on cancer diagnostics.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Sep 5, 2012

In December 2011, the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, part of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, filed a $1 billion lawsuit against its former head Craig Thompson, who at that time had moved on to become the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Two months later, in February 2012, the University of Pennsylvania filed a second lawsuit.

Both lawsuits revolved around Thompson’s alleged secrecy regarding his involvement in the biotech company Agios Pharmaceuticals (a co-defendant in both suits) and business deals he was making based on his research on cancer cell metabolism.

The terms of the new settlement are “hazy,” ScienceInsider reported, but one known outcome is a licensing agreement between Agios and Penn involving diagnostics that measure metabolism of certain cancers.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with Penn and value the contributions of their scientists...

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