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Nondisclosure Agreements and Trade Secrets Intersect

The value of Trade Secrets theft in the United States is estimated to be between $180 billion and $450 billion per year. Pharmaceutical corporations, which are among the world’s most research-intensive organisations, are among the targets of this theft. Pharmaceutical research necessitates a lot of time and effort, and it frequently results in private data that is crucial to pharmaceutical development. Pharmaceutical businesses adopt numerous methods to protect their intellectual information because such data may be particularly appealing to threat actors.

However, these measures may occasionally fall short. Venn Therapeutics filed a Trade Secrets misappropriation lawsuit against Corbus Pharmaceuticals in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida in November 2021, highlighting the challenges that can exist despite a company’s best efforts to secure its Trade Secrets. The issue began in April 2018, when Venn obtained an exclusive licence from the University of California for an antibody known as VTX-001. Venn claims in its complaint that after licencing the antibody’s rights, it spent months and millions of dollars researching VTX-001.

Those experiments, according to Venn, showed that the antibody successfully suppressed a cell receptor linked to cancer growth. Venn subsequently went into an exclusive negotiation agreement with the University in March 2020 to licence VTX-002, an antibody generated from VTX-001 that was demonstrated to be even more effective than VTX-001 in early testing, based on the promising results of VTX-001. The University could not solicit or entertain any bid for VTX-002 from a third party until December 2020, according to the exclusive negotiation agreement.

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