The lawsuit asks for a jury trial in its claim that Pfizer and its predecessor companies, including Monsanto, unjustly took credit for and profited from the work of Daniel L. Simmons, a professor of biochemistry at BYU.
said in a statement that he
looked forward to receiving proper credit for his
"I appreciate the support of the university, and I'm grateful that the real story behind this research will come out," he
spokesman denied the accusations.
"Dr. Simmons played no role in the discovery of Celebrex, and the allegations raised by BYU and Dr. Simmons are baseless," said Pfizer spokesman Bryant Haskins, in a statement.
maintains in the lawsuit that Simmons
discovered the COX-2 enzyme and signed a contract with Monsanto
to develop NSAIDs that would protect the stomach while tackling pain and swelling.
had a written contract with Monsanto
to use his recent discovery of COX-2 to collaborate in development of a new aspirin-like drug," said Smart.
Our lawsuit says they took Dr. Simmons'
findings and discoveries and went on to develop a blockbuster drug without him, which we believe violated the contract by sharing none of the credit or compensation."
The lawsuit asks that dozens of COX-2 related patents be corrected to reflect Simmons' role.
"These patents were all based on the work of Dr. Simmons
," the lawsuit says.
In at least two Monsanto
patents, the lawsuit says, "Monsanto fraudulently misrepresented that its cell-testing systems were constructed using human or murine COX-1 or COX-2 fragments" from a Michigan company.
has recently learned," the complaint says, that the cell systems in at least one case "were made using the clones Dr. Simmons
had provided Monsanto
The lawsuit also claims that the drug company misrepresented to the Food and Drug Administration Monsanto's "true role" in the development of Celebrex.
At the time Monsanto
entered into their agreement, Monsanto was trying to develop a steroid-like project and was testing compounds for NSAID properties only so it could eliminate them from consideration, the complaint says.
Haskins said Pfizer
did acknowledge that Monsanto
had a research agreement with Simmons
, but when asked to what extent Simmons' research was used in the company's COX-2 project, Haskins said the company would not comment on pending litigation.
In 1998, pharmaceutical company Merck
to testify in Monsanto
's patent infringement suit against Merck
, the BYU lawsuit says, and that's when Simmons
learned that Monsanto was taking sole credit for the discovery of COX-2.
In another lawsuit with the University of Rochester
, the BYU complaint says, Monsanto
in a brief said that "Brigham Young's scientists were the first to identify methods of treatment using selective COX-2 inhibitors."
tried to resolve the issues with Monsanto
, the lawsuit says, the company initially denied "even knowing who Dr. Simmons
When confronted with the signed agreement," the complaint says, "Monsanto
admitted to working with Dr. Simmons
" but continued to deny working with them on a project to develop a COX-2 selective NSAID.