Cel-Sci demands $50M from inVentiv over alleged trial fraud

Cancer drug developer Cel-Sci ($CVM) wants at least $50 million in damages from ex-CRO partner inVentiv Health, claiming breach of contract and fraud.

In an arbitration claim, Cel-Sci said it was working with PharmaNet to help with Phase III studies of Multikine, the company's immunotherapy for head and neck cancer, but, after inVentiv bought that CRO in 2011, things went awry, and Cel-Sci terminated the relationship in April.

"These changes were necessary as most of the key personnel at the prior CRO who were involved in our study departed after the CRO was acquired," Cel-Sci CEO Geert Kersten said in a statement back in April. "This had a very negative effect on study enrollment. As a result, the number of patients that have been enrolled and treated in the study fell below the level agreed to with the CRO."

That amounts to breach of contract, fraud in the inducement and common law fraud, Cel-Sci claims, and the drug developer wants $50 million for its troubles.

InVentiv said in a statement that Cel-Sci's allegations amount to "nothing more than an attempt to avoid paying an outstanding debt. Cel-Sci's legal claims are meritless, and we will vigorously defend against the baseless allegations."

Since parting ways with inVentiv, Cel-Sci has partnered up with CROs Ergomed and Aptiv Solutions to move Multikine forward. Under the agreement with Ergomed, Cel-Sci promises to share development costs and potential profits with the CRO.

- read the statement

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