Abion, Gencurix Embroiled in Trade Secret Infringement Lawsuit in US
Two Kosdaq-listed companies, Avion and Gencurix, have been accused of violating trade secrets on cancer diagnosis-related technology in the United States.
According to industry sources on Monday, trade secrets infringement lawsuits against Avion and Zencurix are currently underway in U.S. courts. The lawsuit was filed by Ocimum Biosolutions, an Indian-based genome-related CRO/CDO and consulting firm.
Ocimum Biosolutions claims Abion and Gencurix violated its database license rights while developing patents currently registered in the U.S.
The U.S.-registered patents with which Ocimum Biosolutions raised the issue are three cases, including one named “Processing and analyzing gene expression information for the identification of resistant genes (Register No. US-11107552-B2).”
The inventor of the patent in question is Professor Shin Young-key of the Seoul National University College of Pharmacy, who also is the CEO of Abion. Gencurix acquired the patent from Abion in 2011.
Gencurix and Abion maintain the position that there was no infringement of trade secrets or unauthorized use in the patent development process.
“We acquired the patent in due process and at a reasonable price. It has no direct relationship to the biomarker patent technology reflected in the breast cancer prognosis diagnosis product currently operated by the company,” Gencurix said in a securities report released earlier the month.
Pointing out that the (Ocimum Biosolutions) database was used by one of the researchers who had nothing to do with the company at the time of the initial patent-related study, the company refuted that issues related to the legality of data utilization procedures are not directly related to it.
According to Gencurix, the main lawsuit was assigned to a district court judge in September 2022.
“In August 2022, the magistrate judge of the case recommended the district court judge to dismiss Ocimum Biosolutions’ claims against both Avion and our company,” Gencurix said. “We expect the conclusion of the main lawsuit within the first quarter of 2023 or the second quarter at the latest."
Gencurix is supplying 'GenesWell BCT,' a breast cancer prognosis diagnosis service, at home and abroad. The company also has NGenebio, a joint venture it set up with KT in 2015 to specialize in next-generation sequencing (NGS), as a subsidiary.
Abion, a new anticancer drug developer based on precision diagnosis, is conducting a global phase 2 clinical trial for ABN401, a candidate substance for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment, in the U.S. and Korea. It plans to screen patients and confirm its effectiveness on Exxon 14 gene deletion group among c-MET mutated patients, using liquid biopsy technology, ddPCR.
Meanwhile, Gencurix decided to make a capital increase of 28 billion won ($22.8 million) at its board meeting on Jan. The company plans to use 15 billion won for operation, and 13 billion won to repay debt. It will issue 6.474 million common shares by publicly offering forfeited shares after allocating them to existing shareholders first. Its manager is Korea Investment & Securities Co.
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