Arbella Therapeutics, LLC v. Scorpion Therapeutics, Inc. (D. Mass. 20-cv-12142).

  • December 1, 2020

Arbella was formed in 2015 to find a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. After years of effort, Arbella identified several promising drugs, and sought development partners to move from the laboratory to clinical trials. Arbella’s founder was introduced to Scorpion’s owner, Gary Glick, who expressed interest in a collaboration to develop a treatment drug. At that time, according to the complaint, Scorpion did not have a program or any scientists working in this particular area. Glick sought access to sensitive, trade secret information on Arbella’s work, explicitly promising that Scorpion would not develop such a drug without Arbella as a partner. Glick subsequently, however, decided to withdraw from partnering with Arbella, and made clear that he did not intend to abide by his promise. Arbella asserts that Glick is known for “pry[ing] away other scientists’ work so he can claim it as his own,” calling Glick’s actions in this case as a “simple case of the most brazen fraud.” Indeed, Arbella says that Glick had openly bragged about similar dealings with other entities, obtaining their trade secret information and then using it to design around their IP and enter the market with competing products.

Arbella brings claims under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and Massachusetts Uniform Trade Secret Act as well as asserting unfair and deceptive trade practices under c. 93A, breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, and false advertising under the Lanham Act. This last claim is based on Scorpion having allegedly touted its intent to enter a deal with Arbella to investors, while knowing at the time that it would not do so. This case is before Judge Stearns.

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