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Emcure wins dismissal of US lawsuit over COVID-19 vaccine trade secrets

Post Time:2023-12-05 Source:Reuters Author:Blake Brittain Views:

Dec 4 (Reuters) - Generic drugmaker Emcure Pharmaceuticals (EMCU.NS) convinced a federal court in Seattle, Washington, on Monday to throw out a lawsuit that accused it of stealing trade secrets from biopharma company HDT Bio to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

A sealed entry in the court's docket said that U.S. District Judge James Robart dismissed the case without prejudice, which means it can be refiled. India-based Emcure had argued that the court lacked jurisdiction over the company.

Representatives for HDT and Emcure did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Seattle-based HDT sued Emcure last year. It said in the lawsuit that it was developing a self-amplyifing RNA (saRNA) shot for COVID-19 that is "safer, cheaper, more portable, and likely more effective" than existing mRNA vaccine technology.

The lawsuit said that HDT licensed its technology to Emcure subsidiary Gennova Biopharmaceuticals to develop and sell the vaccine in India. HDT accused Gennova of later claiming the vaccine "as its own," applying for two Indian patents on HDT's technology and touting the "indigenously developed" shots in regulatory filings.

HDT's lawsuit said that Emcure refused to pay royalties and broke their licensing agreement, requesting at least $950 million in monetary damages. It has also filed a related complaint with the London Court of International Arbitration.

Gennova's COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use by the Indian government last June.

Emcure argued in September that the court lacked jurisdiction over the company because it has no business presence in the United States, and that it and Gennova are "unquestionably distinct separate entities."

"This is an illegitimate lawsuit brought by a company using litigation to compensate for its business shortcomings," Emcure said.

The case is HDT Bio Corp v. Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd, U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, No. 2:22-cv-00334.