Aligos Co-Founders File Complaint Against Johnson & Johnson Alleging Fraud

  • Aligos Therapeutics Inc ALGS has filed a response to the complaint of and counterclaims against Janssen Biopharma.
  • In November 2014, Johnson & Johnson JNJ acquired Alios BioPharma Inc, a privately held infectious disease biotech, for approximately $1.75 billion in cash.
  • Lawrence Blatt and Leonid Beigelman co-founded Alios.
  • Following J&J's 2014 acquisition, Blatt and Beigelman become employees at Janssen. But Blatt and Beigelman left Janssen, starting Aligos Therapeutics Inc ALGS in 2018.
  • The response to Janssen's complaint specifically identifies the publicly available information, previous work experience, publications, and patents by Aligos co-founders towards the first discovery of oligonucleotides targeting hepatitis B virus, and the licenses Aligos obtained were utilized as the basis of Aligos' HBV portfolio. 
  • The response further outlines and documents that Aligos employees performed all work after leaving Janssen Biopharma.
  • In its complaint filed in March, Janssen alleges that "Blatt and Beigelman stole work related to at least four R&D programs, reflecting years of effort and funding by Janssen. Then, Blatt and Beigelman used what they stole to create Aligos' pipeline of products."
  • In addition to responding to Janssen's complaint, Aligos logged its complaint, alleging that Janssen made false promises to Blatt and Beigelman when they agreed to work there following the Alios acquisition.
  • Janssen objected to those claims, suggesting that they should be dismissed.
  • Price Action: ALGS shares closed at $1.06 on Wednesday.
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