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28 May 2024AmericasLiz Hockley

HDT Bio and Emcure resolve $950m trade secrets 'misunderstanding'

US and Indian firms reach agreement to settle US litigation and UK arbitration | HDT had accused Emcure of trade secrets theft over COVID-19 vaccine technology.

A US vaccine developer has resolved a “misunderstanding” with Indian pharmaceutical firm Emcure, in a trade secrets case that was worth almost $1 billion.

HDT Bio had asked a Washington court for damages exceeding $950 million after accusing Emcure of stealing the trade secrets behind its COVID-19 jab.

The two firms announced on May 24 that they have settled litigation in the US and arbitration in the UK, and will continue collaborating on the development of mRNA-based vaccines having inked a long-term agreement.

Steve Reed, CEO of HDT, said that the agreement would “bring life-saving vaccines to countless people”.

Satish Mehta, CEO and managing director of Emcure, said: “Emcure is delighted that the misunderstanding between us and HDT not only stands resolved but we have widened the scope of our technical collaboration on a long-term basis.”

$950m trade secrets suit

In 2022, HDT accused Emcure of the “blatant theft of trade secrets concerning the most advanced vaccine technology in the world”.

According to the suit, filed in the Western District of Washington Seattle Division federal court, HDT produced a COVID-19 vaccine known as HDT-301 that “dramatically” improved on existing vaccines.

This was because it used a special form of mRNA that was effective at smaller doses, and used a proprietary delivery platform which enabled it to be easily stored and transported, HDT said.

The Seattle-based pharmaceutical company said it licensed its technology to Emcure subsidiary Gennova, which enabled Gennova to develop and sell a COVID-19 vaccine in India.

However, HDT claimed that Emcure and Gennova breached the agreement, by “clandestinely” filing two Indian patent applications which claimed HDT’s inventions, and touting the mRNA platform as their own.

“Emcure’s Cinderella story is a fairy tale spun to lure investors to a generics maker whose prior attempt to go public failed for lack of interest,” HDT told the court.

It requested at least $950 million in damages and also filed a complaint with the London Court of International Arbitration.

Emcure successfully argued that the Washington court lacked jurisdiction over the company as it had no business presence in the state or anywhere else in the US, and that Gennova was a “distinct corporate entity”.

The court dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled.

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5 December 2023   Emcure fends off COVID-19 trade secrets suit in Washington | A US biotech had inked a short-lived deal with Indian generic pharma company’s subsidiary.
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More on this story

Biotechnology
5 December 2023   Emcure fends off COVID-19 trade secrets suit in Washington | A US biotech had inked a short-lived deal with Indian generic pharma company’s subsidiary.
Americas
22 March 2022   US pharma company HDT Bio has accused Emcure Pharmaceuticals of the “blatant theft” of its COVID-19 vaccine technology in a new lawsuit.

More on this story

Biotechnology
5 December 2023   Emcure fends off COVID-19 trade secrets suit in Washington | A US biotech had inked a short-lived deal with Indian generic pharma company’s subsidiary.
Americas
22 March 2022   US pharma company HDT Bio has accused Emcure Pharmaceuticals of the “blatant theft” of its COVID-19 vaccine technology in a new lawsuit.