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Mylan Laboratories Inc. has filed suit in a Los Angeles court against Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, the well publicized islet cell transplant researcher at VivoRX.
Mylan claimed that Soon-Shiong diverted some of the $46 million it had invested for islet cell transplant research into other non-diabetes related companies which directly profited Soon-Shiong.
According to a June 30th, Bloomberg Financial News article, the suit said the Pittsburgh based Mylan Laboratories had invested the money since 1994 to develop islet cell encapsulation research. The company learned of the wrongdoing when it saw a private placement memo in which Soon-Shiong was seeking $75 million in new investments from other parties.
Soon-Shiong is no longer at the Los Angeles based VivoRX and, he has been unavailable for comment since the suit was filed.
Patricia Sunseri, vice president of investor and public relations at Mylan Laboratories commented that the suit was against Soon-Shiong and not VivoRX.
"We'll go on with the encapsulated islet project," said Sunseri. "Right now we are evaluating how best to proceed."
George Simon, Senior director of corporate development at VivoRX says Mylan Laboratories is supportive and committed to helping VivoRx move forward. Shortly after filing the suit, Mylan Board members visited VivoRX to oversee company proceedings. Simon would not confirm if Soon-Shiong had been fired or had resigned.
Pat Ames, a VivoRX researcher said phase I trials on islet cell transplantation will continue despite Soon-Shiong's departure. The trials will use human cadaver islets and require that participants be on immunosuppressants. Currently, 150 people have applied to participate in the trial.
0 comments - Aug 1, 1998
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