5/2/2012 7:05:49 AM
To put an end to what could have been an embarrassing and potentially costly episode, Pfizer has agreed to pay $450 million to Brigham Young University and endow a chair in the name of Daniel Simmons, a professor who claimed the drugmaker wrongfully cheated him out of money and credit for research that led to the discovery and commercialization of the best-selling Celebrex painkiller (see page 13 here). A trial had been scheduled to begin later this month. Simmons maintained that he discovered the Cox-2 enzyme in 1991 that evolved into Celebrex and that the university signed a research agreement with Monsanto, which later became part of the big drugmaker. However, Simmons and BYU charged the deal was “fraudulently” ended without compensation, a former Monsanto chief scientific officer took credit for the discovery and that Simmons’ work was used as a roadmap for developing the painkiller (here is the lawsuit).
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