Baxter has filed a lawsuit in the USA alleging that one of its former employees provided proprietary information to rival company Bayer. The first hearing in the case is scheduled to take place later today.
The suit maintains that Gopal Dasari copied information on Baxter's biological manufacturing processes in order to pass them on to Bayer's US subsidiary, his new employer. Bayer has denied all wrongdoing in the affair.
Baxter also alleges that Dasari passed on information on the manufacture of five of its key biologicals products, including the billion-dollar haemophilia treatment Recombinate (recombinant antihaemophilic factor), as well as unpublished information on drugs in the company's pipeline, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reported to have uncovered some of the data in Dasari's possession, and it is not yet clear whether criminal proceedings will result, although federal prosecutors are involved in the case, according to the newspaper.
Baxter is asking the court to order Dasari to turn over the allegedly stolen files and force Bayer to hand over any computers, disks or hard drives he has used whilst working in his new job. The US firm is also seeking damages for its actual losses, plus punitive damages and triple damages under California's trade secrets statute.
Bayer manufactures a rival drug to Recombinate, called Kogenate (recombinant Factor VIII), which made sales of €400 million in 2002.