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Teva accuses ex-employee of passing company secrets to boyfriend at rival generics firm

Published on 12/07/17 at 10:14am

Of all the controversy Teva has been embroiled in over the past years, the Israeli company now finds itself dogged by another smaller, yet bizarre one as it launched a lawsuit this week against Barinder Sandhu, its ex-Chief of Regulatory Affairs, who is accused of passing on trade secrets to her boyfriend Jeremy Desai, who happens to be the CEO of rival generics firm Apotex.

Sandhu joined the company in 2012, and after her promotion to Chief of Regulatory Affairs in 2014, she commanded a salary of $193,000, plus an annual 30% bonus. Following an internal investigation, Teva has alleged that she created a folder on her company computer named “My Drive” and synced it to a personal cloud account, before uploading 900 company files and copying the data to 10 USB drives. These actions over a period of two years breached Sandhu’s agreed contract with the company, and her employment was terminated in October 2016.

Many of these files included “trade secrets and other confidential information”, including correspondence with the FDA over unnamed drug in development. The issue was first brought to the attention of Teva by an Apotex employee who alleged that the information was being used to “speed the regulatory approval of its competing product”.  Furthermore, Teva has stated that Desai and possibly his wider company “closely reviewed Teva USA’s confidential corporate information and even adopted a similar company structure at Apotex.”

A spokeswoman from Teva remarked: "Teva will vigorously pursue its legal rights in this matter to protect its trade secrets and confidential business information," while Apotex has since stated that it is "reviewing the claims, but wholly denies it acted improperly." Teva is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, though it has not specified any amount.

Matt Fellows

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