Pfizer Sues Long-Time Employee For Stealing Covid-19 Vaccine Secrets

As part of the lawsuit, Pfizer accused an employee of having stolen confidential documents pertaining to its Coronavirus vaccine. This comes as the alleged employee prepared to take up a job with a competing organization to Pfizer.

According to reports, Chun Xiao Li, Pfizer’s associate director of statistics, was charged with breach of confidentiality in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in a San Diego court.

Pfizer claimed she transferred and stored over 12,000 files from her Pfizer-issued laptop to a personal Google Drive profile and on other computers.

These files pertain to a variety of subjects, including the Covid-19 vaccine study conducted by Pfizer.

Additionally, it claimed that Li transmitted files with suggestions and analysis related to why the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership was successful compared to others.

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As Pfizer states in its lawsuit, “although Ms. Li initially gave the appearance of cooperation, it turns out that [she] instead has misled Pfizer about what took, how she took it, when and why and those files (and possibly others) can be found.”

“She went so far as to provide Pfizer’s security team a decoy laptop, leading Pfizer to believe it was the one she used to download the 12,000 files from her Google Drive.” However the “forensic analyses confirmed it was not,” the drug company said.

After 15 years of service at Pfizer, Ms. Li had planned to move to the California medical-stage company, Xencor, according to Pfizer.

In addition to cancer treatments, Xencor specializes in autoimmune diseases.

Pfizer claims that “Ms. Li’s conduct, combined with her apparent imminent plan to begin working at Xencor, makes it highly likely that [she] will disclose and/or use Pfizer’s confidential, proprietary and trade-secret information.”

On Tuesday, the court granted Pfizer’s request for a temporary block on Ms. Li’s to stop her from using Pfizer’s trade secrets.

According to Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo, the company’s lawyers are free to inspect her account and any devices where such data might be stored.

As of this writing, neither Ms. Li nor Xencor — who is not a defender on the case — has provided any comments on the case.

A judge will consider a longer injunction at the hearing on 9 December.

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