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13 August 2019Big PharmaSaman Javed

Allergan says rivals using trade secrets disclosed by USITC order

Allergan has filed a motion asking for its “trade secrets” to be removed from evidence in a dispute over its wrinkle treatment, Botox.

The motion, filed August 5, comes after a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge ordered Allergan to disclose details of its Botox manufacturing process to South Korea-based Daewoong and Evolus as part of an investigation.

Daewoong and Evolus are the producers of a competing Botox product, Jeuveau.

Earlier this year, the ITC announced that it had launched an investigation into Daewoong and Evolus following a complaint from Allergan and its exclusive licensor, Medytox.

According to the claim, Daewoong created Jeuveau, a botulinum neurotoxin (BTX), based on misappropriated trade secrets of Medytox.

Medytox alleged that one of its former employees had taken confidential documents describing in detail the company's “most secret, most protected manufacturing processes”, as well as a sample of Medytox's BTX strain, and went to work for Daewoong.

“Allergan's 30-year investment in the domestic BTX products market, including its partnership with Medytox, will be substantially injured by the unfair acts of respondents,” it claimed.

In September 2013, Daewoong entered into a licensing agreement with Evolus to import its BTX product into the US.

Additionally, Allergan also said Evolus had hired a number of its former employees, namely Evolus’ CEO who was Allergan’s senior vice president of US medical aesthetics.

In its latest filing, Allergan said the ITC’s order that it disclose its manufacturing process for Botox put its “most sensitive” trade secret information at risk and that these trade secrets were now being used by Daewoong and Evolus in their opposition arguments against Allergan.

Specifically, Allergan said it had produced documents containing the processes during depositions.

It said all copies of the documents should be returned or destroyed.

“Not only did [Daewoong and Evolus] ignore repeated requests to return the documents, they now rely on one of the documents throughout their opposition,” the filing said.

It said Daewoong and Evolus’ reliance on the documents containing the manufacturing processes is “highly improper” and any arguments based on them should be disregarded.

Additionally, it said this treatment of the document “exemplifies Allergan’s concern for its confidential information”.

It also contested Daewoong and Evolus’ argument that “many portions of Allergan’s manufacturing process for Botox” have already been made public at various points in time.

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Americas
11 September 2020   Cannabinoid maker Lavvan has filed a $881 million trade secrets lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Amyris.
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18 December 2020   The US International Trade Commission has sided in favour of AbbVie/Allergan, which argued that a rival should be prevented from importing a low-cost version of its Botox treatment into the US for 21 months, because it had stolen trade secrets.

More on this story

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11 September 2020   Cannabinoid maker Lavvan has filed a $881 million trade secrets lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Amyris.
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18 December 2020   The US International Trade Commission has sided in favour of AbbVie/Allergan, which argued that a rival should be prevented from importing a low-cost version of its Botox treatment into the US for 21 months, because it had stolen trade secrets.