Earlier this month, California-based Hyperion Therapeutics terminated the development of its Type 1 diabetes candidate DiaPep277 after it discovered trial data had been manipulated by employees of Andromeda, an Israeli firm it acquired in June for $20m.
Hyperion’s CEO Donald Santel said he was “shocked and disheartened” at the serious misconduct and would be exploring its legal options against Andromeda and its former owners Clal Biotechnology Industry.
However, Hyperion is not the only firm to have suffered financial loss as today contract research organisation Evotec announced it would be taking legal steps against to recover all “claims and potential damages that result from recent incidents in relation to DiaPep277.”
DiaPep277 was initially developed by DeveloGen who sold all rights to the candidate to Andromeda in 2007. Three years later, fellow Germany-based firm Evotec acquired DeveloGen along with the rights for single-digit royalty rates and certain milestones for the development and commercialisation of DiaPep277.
Evotec’s CEO Dr Werner Lanthaler told this publication it was entitled to €3.4m from Andromeda in milestone payments, following the completion of the DIA-AID Phase III trial, which was the first trial where data was found to have been manipulated by Andromeda employees and a third-party biologistics firm.
“We are entitled to this as the trial was completed, independent to whether or not the data was faked,” he explained. “Unfortunately in this case it was, which was something no one could have ever expected.”
He continued, adding Evotec was taking legal action to both maximise its claim and to ensure Andromeda was penalized somewhat over this serious misdemeanour. “We definitely can’t let this go morally, [and] Andromeda has to be brought to justice.”
Lanthaler confirmed Evotec has been in talks with Hyperion over the situation.
Evotec had not been involved in the development of DiaPep277, while its subsidiary DeveloGen was not involved past 2007 and played no part in the data-fixing actions that led to the candidate’s termination.