Penn, Cancer Center president settle lawsuits


The Abramson Institute had accused Craig Thompson of breaching the terms of his contract




Two lawsuits that accused Craig Thompson — the president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center — of taking research he conducted at Penn to start his own biotechnology company have been settled.

Although most of the terms of the settlement are confidential, Penn and Agios Pharmaceuticals — the biotechnology company Thompson started — have publicly entered into a licensing agreement, according to an Aug. 31 joint press release.

“The collaboration could result in significant benefits to cancer patients, as well as financial benefits to Agios, Penn and the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute,” the press release said.

But neither party disclosed financial terms of the settlement or whether the plaintiffs — Penn and the Abramson Institute — will receive immediate payments from Agios.

Both plaintiffs alleged that Thompson’s withholding of research denied them of any profits from Agios.

Last December, the Abramson Institute — Penn’s cancer research center — filed the first lawsuit in Federal District Court in New York against Thompson requesting reparations for their damages of over $1 billion.

The Abramson Institute claimed that Thompson, who worked at Penn before becoming president of Sloan-Kettering in 2010, breached his contract by taking ownership of research conducted at Penn.

In the same court two months later, Penn filed a second lawsuit with different accusations requesting over $100 million in damages. Penn claimed that Thompson violated the University’s patent policy and neglected to share his research, and instead used it to build a for-profit company.

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