Indian drugmaker seeks to toss ‘bloated’ billion-dollar lawsuit over Covid vaccine candidate – Endpoints News

A drug man­u­fac­tur­er is look­ing to end a suit brought on by a Seat­tle-based biotech.

Em­cure Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, a Pune, In­dia-based man­u­fac­tur­er of gener­ic drugs, is press­ing a court in Wash­ing­ton to toss out a suit brought on by HDT Bio over a vac­cine to pre­vent Covid-19.

The cur­rent mo­tion filed by Em­cure on Fri­day seeks to dis­miss the case on sev­er­al grounds, par­tial­ly be­cause the court has no au­thor­i­ty over an In­di­an com­pa­ny, Em­cure says, and be­cause there is no way that Em­cure could dam­age HDT.

“HDT Bio Corp. hauled Em­cure Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Ltd. an In­di­an gener­ic drug man­u­fac­tur­er and dis­trib­u­tor with no Wash­ing­ton con­tacts, in­to this Court so it could dis­par­age Em­cure, dam­age its rep­u­ta­tion, and, at the same time, cre­ate pub­lic­i­ty for it­self,” the mo­tion said. “The Com­plaint’s bloat­ed bil­lion-dol­lar dam­ages de­mand shows this case for what it is: a made-for-head­lines hit piece.”

The mo­tion claims that the al­le­ga­tions from HDT arise from agree­ments be­tween HDT and Em­cure’s sub­sidiary Gen­no­va Bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. HDT ini­tial­ly part­nered with Gen­no­va in Ju­ly 2020 to help with the po­ten­tial vac­cine’s de­vel­op­ment in In­dia, where the coun­try’s reg­u­la­tor re­cent­ly signed off on Phase II and III tri­als. How­ev­er, HDT has al­ready sued Gen­no­va in the Lon­don Court of In­ter­na­tion­al Ar­bi­tra­tion. Em­cure al­so al­leges that does not have any con­trol over Gen­no­va.

The mo­tion al­so states that HDT did not iden­ti­fy its trade se­crets, al­leg­ing that HDT’s de­scrip­tion of the trade se­crets in ques­tion is too vague and, by its very own al­le­ga­tions, are pub­licly dis­closed in patents which can­not form a prop­er le­gal ba­sis to as­sert a claim for trade se­cret mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion.

No ac­tion has been tak­en yet by the court.

The ini­tial suit filed by HDT in March stat­ed that Em­cure sought to cut ties with HDT, file patents on HDT tech and go pub­lic on the strength of the vac­cine. HDT al­leged in its suit that Em­cure and Gen­no­va took over, planned for a pub­lic stock of­fer­ing, and then nev­er looked back, even re­fus­ing to share clin­i­cal da­ta with HDT.

“Gen­no­va’s ul­ti­mate re­fusal to pro­vide ei­ther Phase II or Phase III clin­i­cal da­ta killed a po­ten­tial $100,000,000 deal with an ex­ist­ing HDT part­ner,” HDT al­leged in its orig­i­nal suit.

HDT was backed with an $8.2 mil­lion NIH grant and was look­ing to de­vel­op its self-am­pli­fy­ing RNA vac­cine, or saR­NA vac­cine, which al­so us­es the firm’s pro­pri­etary lipid nanopar­ti­cle tech. The com­plaint is filled with claims that HDT’s vac­cine will out­per­form the cur­rent­ly au­tho­rized mR­NA vac­cines, claim­ing that it is “safer, cheap­er, more portable, and like­ly more ef­fec­tive than the mR­NA vac­cines on the mar­ket.” How­ev­er, to date, no saR­NA vac­cine has ever been ap­proved by the FDA.

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