Penn grabs Agios deal, settling high-profile IP theft claim

The lurid legal showdown between the University of Pennsylvania's cancer research center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering CEO--and Agios Pharmaceuticals co-founder--Craig Thompson has been defused. While keeping mum on the terms, Agios announced a licensing pact with Penn covering intellectual property on diagnostic products that can be used to detect the metabolism of certain cancers. 

Earlier this year the research operation accused Thompson, a high-profile cancer researcher, of making off with IP on cancer metabolism to secretly launch Agios, which is now partnered with Celgene. The university claimed it had been ripped off to the tune of $1 billion, spurring a denial of the charge by Thompson.

On Friday, Agios rolled out the licensing agreement, which is part of the legal settlement.

"We are pleased to be collaborating with Penn and value the contributions of their scientists to this exciting field," stated David Schenkein, the CEO of Agios. "We are excited to now focus on the most important task of all--transforming the lives of cancer patients."

The Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute claimed that it had never heard of Thompson's role in Agios until late last year. But an in-depth piece by New York Times scribe Andrew Pollack included some acknowledgments that several individuals at the university may have worked on patents with Agios.

- here's the press release

Special Report: Agios Pharmaceuticals - 2009 Fierce 15