University of Pennsylvania Sues President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering

The University of Pennsylvania has joined a lawsuit against the current president of New York-based Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, claiming he walked away from his former workplace with research findings to start his own company, according to a New York Times report.

The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was the first to file suit in December. Defendant Craig B. Thompson, MD, was the scientific director of the institute from 2006 to 2010. The lawsuit claims Dr. Thompson concealed his role in a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2007 — Agios Pharmaceuticals — and therefore deprived the institute of proceeds that could support research. The institute alleges it did not learn of Agios until 2011.

Originally, Penn was not involved in the lawsuit and said the institute was a separate legal entity from the university. On Wednesday, however, the university filed its own complaint against Dr. Thompson. It claims he violated the university's patent policy and employment terms. The suit also names Agios Pharmaceuticals.

A lawyer representing the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute says the university is expected to ask for the two complaints to be consolidated and heard together, according to the report. Penn said it suffered at least $100 million in damages while the Abramson complaint said the damages could ultimately exceed $1 billion, according to the report.

While Dr. Thompson did not provide comment at the time of the news report's publication, Agios Pharmaceuticals released a comment saying both suits are without merit, according to the report.

More Articles on Hospital Lawsuits:
U. Penn Cancer Institute Claims Sloan-Kettering CEO Improperly Used Research
Duke Professor Says Former Cancer Researcher Intentionally Falsified Data
Judge Sides With Whistleblower in Case Against Mayo Clinic

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