Penn and Cancer Institute Settle Lawsuits Accusing Scientist of Stealing Research

The University of Pennsylvania and a cancer institute on its campus have settled lawsuits accusing a former Penn scientist of making off with the results of research he had conducted at the university and using it to start a biotechnology company. The scientist, Craig B. Thompson, who is now president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, has denied the allegations, which appeared in separate lawsuits filed by Penn and by the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. The plaintiffs had said that damages could amount to well over $1-billion, but a news release issued on Friday by the parties to the suits said the terms of the settlement were confidential. A subsequent news release said that the biotech company, Agios Pharmaceuticals, had signed a licensing agreement with Penn that would apparently cover the intellectual property at issue. The New York Times observed that the language of the second news release suggested that Penn and the cancer institute would not receive an immediate windfall, but would benefit financially only if the research turned into marketable products.

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