WuXi PharmaTech, a pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device R&D services company with operations in China and the United States, today commented on the conviction of a former employee for the theft of chemical compounds.
In 2011, a junior employee of WuXi PharmaTech, acting by himself, stole and sold for personal gain sample amounts of two patented chemical compounds made for a customer. Working together with the customer, WuXi PharmaTech cooperated with law enforcement authorities to identify the employee, who was apprehended and subsequently convicted under applicable Chinese law on May 22, 2012. The compounds in question were recovered.
WuXi PharmaTech has stringent intellectual property (IP) protection procedures and a zero-tolerance policy for any activity that damages the interests of its customers. This is the only known misappropriation of customer compounds in the company’s 11 years of operations.
“We regret that one of our employees committed a crime on our premises,” commented Dr. Ge Li, chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech.
“The strong and trusting customer relationships we have built over the past 11 years are based in part on our culture of commitment to IP security. As in any company, there will always be the risk of damage caused by a determined criminal. At WuXi PharmaTech, customer IP protection is our lifeline and we are committed to working closely with our customers to ensure the security of their projects.” Dr. Li noted that this was an isolated case involving sample amounts of two patented compounds whose chemical structures are available in their respective patent filings. The company treats any breach of security protocols with the utmost seriousness and is undertaking an ongoing review to strengthen security measures to ensure the protection of customer IP. In addition, the company is intensifying employee training and strengthening oversight of facilities through increasing the number of both regular and unannounced laboratory and office inspections.