JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Pfizer sues departing employee it says stole COVID-19 vaccine secrets

Pfizer sues departing employee it says stole COVID-19 vaccine secrets

Thursday, November 25, 2021, 14:14 GMT+7
Pfizer sues departing employee it says stole COVID-19 vaccine secrets
The Pfizer logo is pictured on their headquarters building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 9, 2020. Photo: Reuters

Pfizer Inc has sued a longtime employee for allegedly stealing "scores" of confidential documents, including some related to its COVID-19 vaccine, as she prepared to jump to a competitor.

In a complaint filed on Tuesday in San Diego federal court, Pfizer said Chun Xiao Li breached her confidentiality agreement by uploading more than 12,000 files without permission to her personal accounts and devices from her company-issued laptop.

The alleged materials include a Sept. 24 "playbook" containing internal assessments and recommendations about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer's relationship with its German vaccine partner, and presentations related to cancer antibodies.

Pfizer said Li, an associate director of statistics, tried repeatedly to cover her tracks, even providing a "decoy" laptop to fool it into thinking what she did with the files.

Li "has misled Pfizer about what she took, how she took it, when and why she did it, and where those files (and possibly others) can be found," the New York-based drugmaker said.

Pfizer said Li is resigning after 15 years at the company, and appears to have an offer to join Xencor Inc, a California clinical-stage company focusing on treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases, on Nov. 29.

Li could not immediately be reached for comment through her LinkedIn account. Xencor is not a defendant in the lawsuit, and declined to comment.

Pfizer said competitors have been trying to recruit its employees "relentlessly, especially during 2021."

In an order late on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo temporarily blocked Li from using Pfizer's trade secrets, and said the company's lawyers can review accounts and devices where she might have stored them.

The judge scheduled a Dec. 9 hearing to consider a longer injunction.

Reuters

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news

Indonesia considers relocations after deadly volcanic eruption

Indonesia’s volcanology agency is sending a team of researchers to the Mount Semeru volcano to identify areas too dangerous for villagers to stay after it erupted on Saturday, killing dozens of people on the slopes of Java island’s highest mountain